On March 24, 2018, I had the opportunity to attend the March for Our Lives here in Washington, D.C. with a few of my friends who were in town for the weekend. This was the first march I’ve ever participated in (I was unable to attend the Women’s March, sadly) and it was a truly incredible experience. Washington, as everyone says, is "where it happens." It was great to be in the center of it all and witness history being made. As a strong believer in grassroots organization, it was amazing to see so many people come together for a common cause.
The above photo is my friends and me during the march. All of us have differing viewpoints when it comes to politics (we have a libertarian and republican in the group!), but we agree that enough is enough-- it's time to take action against gun violence. It's a great reminder that you don't have to agree with someone all the time to make progress. It's important to find common ground on issues and make progress in the areas you can work on together.
I was in awe that students younger than me were able to pull off such an event. It was so impressive that these survivors rallied so hard for a cause they believe in. Despite all the hardships they faced, they persevered. Their speeches were well thought out and impactful, and I felt incredibly proud of them and the rest of my generation. If we are the leaders of tomorrow, I believe we have much to be hopeful for.
Finally, the march was an indicator of the power of grassroots organization, but it was also a reminder of how much work we still have to do. Despite all of the coverage the march got and all the conversation that it generated, there still hasn't been comprehensive reform. This is incredibly disappointing, but not surprising. The government works slowly, but it is encouraging to see private companies taking a stand against gun violence. Now, we just have to keep the conversation going.
Kyndal Sowers, WAIP Spring '18