As many as 6,000 people in Kansas City took part in the nationwide March For Our Lives rally and march Saturday at Theis Park on the Plaza. Students took the lead on that event as well as the one in downtown Lee’s Summit. The marches were a response for changes in gun legislation after seventeen were shot and killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day.
In D.C. the big rally went down with some powerful speakers – all youth – a few as young as 11-years old. One was Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. She spoke near the National Mall where her grandfather delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.
Another young mover and shaker? 11-year-old Naomi Wadler.
The March for Our Lives protest in D.C. also hosted star-studded performances with Ariana Grande, Andra Day, Common and Demi Lovato to name a few. But my girl Jennifer Hudson took it to church! While most pointed out it was a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ” , I am going to credit Tremaine Hawkins gospel classic, “Changed”. Remember Jennifer lost her mother and nephew to gun violence.
Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez’s moving speech included a six-minute moment of silence that represented the length of the school shooting that killed seventeen. The students also ended with a powerful message.
Coretta Scott King said, “The failure to invest in youth reflects a lack of compassion and a colossal failure of common sense.” It was amazing to see the hard work, unity, diversity and many messages brought to the forefront by our youth. They are our future so we must pay attention to what they’re saying– and invest in their futures.
(Photo credit: CNN screenshot)