This short speech captured everything hopeful about the March for Our Lives rally.

We knew they'd be powerful and poignant. And they still amazed us.

From the very beginning, the student activists at the March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., grabbed our attention and didn't let go.

And they had a message for our nation's political leaders who still haven't taken meaningful action on gun violence:


"Either represent the people or get out," Parkland, Florida, student Cameron Kasky said, kicking off the day's string of incredible speeches. "Stand for us or beware: The voters are coming."

It was more than an inspiring speech; it was a direct call to action with specific demands — a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and a call for universal background checks.

"This is more than just a march," Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Delaney Tarr said soon after. "This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on."

As much as their stories have moved us emotionally, Tarr and those who followed her quickly made it clear their purpose was about real, tangible action.

"We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends."

But one student in particular made an unforgettable impression on the crowd.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

When Washington, D.C., native Zion Kelly took the stage, he shared a heartbreaking story of losing his twin brother Zaire to gun violence. "Today, I raise my hand in honor of my twin brother, Zaire Kelly," he said, speaking with a clear tone of strength and conviction even as tears filled his eyes.

Kelly then asked those in attendance, "Raise your hand if you've been affected by gun violence."

17-year-old Zaire was killed by an armed assailant while walking home from a college-prep class in September 2017. Zion and his family have been working to support gun safety measures in D.C.

"Just like you, I've had enough," he said.

It was a powerful moment, where cameras captured the fact that the entire section in front of the stage was reserved for those directly affected by gun violence, connecting direct faces with the epidemic.

We saw the next generation of leaders step forward — and the future is brighter than ever.

They made us cry and made us angry with their stories of pain and frustration. But the young adults speaking in Washington, D.C., and at rallies around the country also made it clear they have taken charge of a movement that adults have failed to make real progress on.

It's a youth-driven political movement unlike any America has seen since the Vietnam War and one that is fueled by a generation better equipped to use new tools of activism like social media to move past the forces that stand in their way.

Read more on the March for Our Lives with stories on Parkland student Emma Gonzalez’s emotional silence, outstanding protest signs, photos from around the country, and moving words from little kids.

And if you want to support the anti-gun-violence movement, we have a quiz for the best way you can help.

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Comedy legend Carol Burnett once said, "Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head." She wasn't joking.

Going through childbirth is widely acknowledged as one of the most grueling things a human can endure. Having birthed three babies myself, I can attest that Burnett's description is fairly accurate—if that seemingly impossible lip-stretching feat lasted for hours and involved a much more sensitive part of your body.

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via SNL / YouTube

Christopher Walken is one of the greatest actors of his generation. He's been nominated for an Academy Award twice for best supporting actor, winning once for 1978's "The Deer Hunter" and receiving a nomination for 2002's "Catch Me if You Can."

He's played memorable roles in "Annie Hall," "Pulp Fiction," "Wedding Crashers," "Batman Returns," and countless other films. He's also starred in Shakespeare on the stage and began his career as a dancer.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

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