One of the most incredible silver linings of the horrific tragedy in Parkland, Florida last month has been watching young people speak so powerfully and passionately about gun control reform. Case in point: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Emma Gonzalez tearfully speaking at a gathering after the shooting and proclaiming, "We call BS!" is just one young activist who reminds us that you can never be too young to be a catalyst for change. If you or your kids are preparing to attend the March For Our Lives event on March 24, here are 13 inspirational quotes for March For Our Lives signs from kids who are changing the world.
The students who survived the Parkland shooting aren't the only kid activists on the scene at the moment. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student who was attacked by the Taliban for standing up for girls' rights to go to school, has continued to make inspiring speeches about educational rights. Kid President, also known as Robby Novak, is also represented with with some inspirational gems that can help unite our divided country.
All of these kids have followed in the footsteps of great young activists like Representative John Lewis, who protested for racial justice when he was just a student himself. Here are a few encouraging words of his own, "Get out there and push, and stand up, and get in the way the same way my generation got in the way."
Here's to getting in the way and making some real change!
1. "We Call BS!" - Emma Gonzalez
If you haven't had a chance to see Emma Gonzalez's speech, it's worth watching or reading the transcript. Gonzalez shared some shocking information about the state of Florida's gun laws that the students are seeking to change — like requiring residents to register their guns and have gun licenses before being able to purchase a gun.
2. "We Were Scared, But Our Fear Was Not As Strong As Our Courage." - Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban when she was just a child in Pakistan, for demanding that girls be able to receive an education as well as boys. She received the Nobel Peace Prize for her bravery and courage, about which she often speaks.
3. "If we’re all on the same team, let’s start acting like it.” - Robby Novak, Kid President
Most days we could also use a dose of Kid President's reasonable and rational words that help remind us to rise above the fray of partisan politics. For the March for Our Lives, that's a theme that will likely resonate — gun control should reach across party lines.
4. "When The World Is Silent, Even One Voice Becomes Powerful." Malala Yousafzai
The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have pointed out that the politicians who are supposed to be standing up for students' rights to go to school without fear of being shot by assault weapons have been largely silent on the topic. So while these adults stay silent, the voices of the March for Our Lives participants will be that much more powerful.
5. "The Power To Make A Difference Does Not Come From Our Political Leaders Or Presidents Or Congress. It Comes From Us - The People!" - Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez
We might need a little help pronouncing Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez's name (shoo-TEHZ-caht, according to Wikipedia), but the teenager environmental activist and hip hop artist is a name we should all know. Roske-Martinez has been taking his own advice, fighting for the government to recognize and address climate change with the conservation organization, Earth Guardians.
6. "Our Politicians Abandoned Us By Failing To Keep Guns Out Of Schools." - Cameron Kasky
While it might not feel like the most inspirational quote to plaster on a sign for the March for Our Lives, Parkland shooting survivor Cameron Kasky's words capture the anger so many feel about the way gun control has languished at the highest levels of our government. And his words ring very true.
7. "We Are Now The Future, We Are A Movement, We Are The Change," - Delaney Tarr
Delaney Tarr is another Parkland student who has been outspoken like her peers Gonzalez and Kasky in protesting for meaningful gun reform. These powerful words will especially resonate with the younger generation, but really, adults will be inspired by reading this sign, too.
8. "Frustration Is Fuel That Can Lead To The Development Of An Innovative And Useful Idea." - Marley Dias
Marley Dias is the mastermind behind the book drive #1000BlackGirlBooks. Dias started the project to highlight books with Black female protagonists after becoming frustrated by the overwhelming prevalence of male protagonists in her required reading. Her own frustration was the fuel that led to an incredibly useful idea!
9. "We Are All More Similar Than We Are Different." - Ziad Ahmed
Teenager and Yale University freshman Ziad Ahmed is a self-described "American-Muslim-Bangladeshi social justice activist," and his words about unity are particularly apropos for the March for Our Lives event.
10. "I have the right to live without fear." - Sophie Cruz
We all have the right to live without fear, especially from gun violence but also from having your parents taken from you. Sophie Cruz was just 5 when she stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and spoke these words, protesting the treatment of undocumented immigrants and their children.
11. "Doing Nothing Is A Great Way To Change Nothing." - Bobby Novak, Kid President
If you ever need a boost, just google Kid President quotes. That guy has come out with some uplifting and inspiring gems in his young life! If we don't take action, then nothing will change — that's for sure.
12. "Let Us Fight With Love, Faith And Courage So That Our Families Will Not Be Destroyed.” - Sophie Cruz
It's hard not to be moved by 6-year-old Sophie Cruz speaking so passionately to keep her parents from being deported, and her words are so applicable to the March for Our Lives message. Every kid killed by gun violence leaves a broken family behind, and you can fight using peaceful tools, like love, faith, and courage.
13. "Let Me Scream. I Am Tired Of The Silence." - Sonita Alizadeh
Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh spoke these words in her own battle against arranged child marriage, but they ring true with the cause of the March for Our Lives as well. The participants are tired of the silence and are ready to scream for change.
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