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.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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