Students Announce Gun Reform "Evening of Action" Following School Walkouts
New York, NY –– March 5, 2018 –– High schoolers organizing March 14 gun control walkouts at more than fifty NYC schools are announcing plans for an “Evening of Action” in association with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alumni. Over 400 people have already RSVP’d to the event, where youth will lobby elected officials and the private sector, hear from political leaders and activists, and strategize about sustaining the student-led gun sense movement.
Students, parents, teachers, and allies will gather from 5:30 - 7:30pm at the Quakers’ 15th Street Meetinghouse. Attendees will rotate through “action stations,” which will help them contact their elected representatives, lobby retailers to limit gun sales, demand that companies cut ties to the National Rifle Association, register to vote, start movement chapters at their schools, and more. Speakers include leaders from Mobilizing Marjory Stoneman Douglas Alumni (NYC), the March for Our Lives, and Moms Demand Action. New York elected officials have also been invited.
The event is organized by Coalition Z –– a NYC-based progressive high school group that made headlines last year with an “Inauguration Day of Action” as President Trump took office –– in association with Mobilizing Marjory Stoneman Douglas Alumni (NYC). Coalition Z is coordinating action at approximately fifty schools spanning four New York City boroughs.
“We are determined to make our generation the last one that must go to school in fear of mass shootings,” said Bryson Wiese, an eleventh grader and Coalition Z cofounder. “On March 14, we are coming together to turn the energy of walkouts into concrete policy demands and build infrastructure that can sustain student leadership in the gun sense movement for years to come.”
“Protests and walkouts are only half the battle: in order to affect real change, we need to be calling our representatives and working towards specific policy goals,” explained Zoe Davidson, an eleventh grader and Coalition Z cofounder. “That’s why we’re going to be registering voters, teaching students skills they need to advocate for gun reform, and hearing from speakers who have been doing this work for years.”
“In the wake of the Parkland tragedy, youth across our nation have generated critical momentum in the fight to create more restrictive gun laws,” added Alex Lehman, an eleventh grader and cofounder of Coalition Z. “By providing a student-led event to translate passion into action, we hope to concretize the views of high schoolers who are committed to making our schools safer and to empower the progressive voices of Generation Z.”
Although individuals of all ages are welcome to attend, the event is youth-focused and youth-led. The effort’s peer-to-peer model has helped it amass more than 2,600 “going” and “interested” RSVPs on Facebook prior to its public announcement. In addition to traditional print and TV media, youth influencers like Student Problems –– the social-first outlet with over 7 million Facebook followers –– are planning to cover the Evening of Action.
Alex Lehman (917-974-3091), Bryson Wiese (718-715-6551), or Zoe Davidson (718-744-5464), Executive Directors, Coalition Z