Teenage girls leading social change movements give me hope, as I describe in my books "Brave: Young Women's Global Activism" and "Resist: Goals and Tactics for Changemakers." Here's a little about Emma Gonzales, a leader of the Florida students working for gun control legislation after their school shooting incident on Valentine's Day this year.
In an interview with the New York Times Emma Gonzales said, “This is my whole world now…I cannot allow myself to stop talking about this.”[i] She added: “Everybody needs to understand how we feel and what we went through, because if they don’t, they’re not going to be able to understand why we’re fighting for what we’re fighting for.” She joked with the others about “seizing the memes of production,” a play on Marx’s “means of production.” In an article in the March 23 Teen Vogue, Gonzales wrote, “We have taken the media by storm through appearances and interviews, met with state and federal lawmakers to beg them to enact much stricter gun control laws, and been joined in protest by students around the nation and the world who’ve held school walkouts and demonstrations that exhibit the energy and power of young people in full force.” Gonzales said,
We have to be the change we need to see, using civil disobedience. We Stoneman Douglas students may have woken up only recently from our sheltered lives to fight this fight, but we stand in solidarity with those who have struggled before us. The media afforded a group of high school students the opportunity to wedge our foot in the door, but we aren’t going through this alone. As a group, and as a movement, it’s vital that we acknowledge and utilize our privilege. We need to digitize gun-sales records, universal background checks, close gun-show loopholes and straw-man purchases, ban high-capacity magazines, and ban assault weapons with a buyback system.
[i] Julie Turkewitz, et al., “Emma González Leads a Student Outcry on Guns,” New York Times, February 18, 2018.