The students who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stone Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have not stopped organizing since first announcing the shooting would be the country's last in the days following. Now that hard work is paying off as their march on Washington, D.C., takes shape. But if you can't make it to the U.S. Capitol, you can find a March for Our Lives near you. There are a growing number of sister marches that are taking place across the country.
The best place to check in with your march options is on Facebook. The March for Our Lives Facebook page is full of events — all of them happening on March 24, just like the D.C. event. The marches span the country, some of them happening in the morning, others in the afternoon or evening. Check out the details and decide which one is the best for you to attend.
You also will want to sign up on the official March for Our Lives website to ensure that you're getting all the email updates that the movement sends out in the coming month. Additional information will be released through this channel and on the website when it becomes available. They plan to launch a landing page for local march organizers to post extra information that's not available on Facebook.
School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.
The idea for the march came as a response to the common retort that immediately after a shooting is not a time to talk about politics but rather mourn the dead. "The thing that inspired us to create the march was people saying, 'This is not the time to talk abut gun control, this is the time to mourn,'" one of the key organizers, Cameron Kasky, said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. "We understand that, so here's the time to talk about gun control. March 24th."
The organizers, many of whom have taken leadership roles in the Never Again MSD group, insist that there is no partisan agenda. They just want change, and to stop what they see as the NRA's agenda. Another student organizer David Hogg told Reuters that the group wants to teach the public how much their politicians are taking in campaign contributions from the conservative, gun rights group.
But it's not about political party. "Honestly both sides are pretty corrupt and I'm not willing to take a side unless I know the person," Hogg told Reuters. "These politicians need to be afraid."
If you're hoping to support the students at a march near you and you haven't found one on the list, consider organizing your own. You can register the march with the Parkland student organizers and they will provide you with the necessary information. T-shirts and other merchandise can be purchased to help not only raise money but to spread the message of the march.
If organizing your own doesn't work — or you can't make the march closest to you — consider donating to the event to help make it a success. "Change is coming," the march website reads. "And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard." Put March 24 in your calendar and join them.