Over a weekend in mid-March, Boston University School of Public Health, March for Our Lives: Massachusetts and Stop Handgun Violence partnered to hold a regional student summit and training on gun violence prevention. We began on a Friday with Massachusetts students to learn about local gun trafficking and take a variety of workshops looking at the intersectionality of gun violence. Students were joined for an engaging discussion of Massachusetts gun laws by Attorney General Maura Healey. On Saturday, more student activists from Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut attended for another day of programming with Massachusetts which included an inspirational discussion with Representative Ayanna Pressley. Finally on Sunday, students completed their weekend with a group project and an “ARTivism” workshop with Manuel Oliver, father of Parkland Florida victim, Joaquin Oliver. This last workshop was clearly the favorite from the weekend.
“We are proud to support the efforts of New England area students working to end gun violence” said Zoe Grover, Executive Director of Stop Handgun Violence. “Every day a hundred individuals are killed by guns in America, tackling this issue regionally and intergenerationally is the only way we will succeed in ending this epidemic.”
“The student movement has accomplished a lot in the year since the Parkland shooting” said Vikiana Petit-Homme, Regional Director of March for Our Lives. “We lobbied, we voted, we marched. Last weekend we brought together students from across New England to plan, collaborate and build coalitions. We’re not done, we are just getting started.”
“BUSPH is on the forefront of gun violence prevention research and we are proud to work alongside the student activists who are leading the charge toward change” said Harold Cox, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, Director of the Activist Lab. “We know that gun violence is a public health crisis. And we also know that student activists like the ones who gathered at SPH last weekend are making more progress than we’ve seen in decades reaching their local and federal government officials. We believe in the power of their voices to take the lessons we have learned and turn them into a healthier future for all.”
Our incredible partner organizations included Change the Ref, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Connecticut Teens Against Gun Violence, Granite State Progress, GunSense Vermont, Hartford Communities That Care, Inc., Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Newtown Action Alliance, Operation LIPSTICK, and Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.
Watch the time-lapse of the Wall of Demand workshop:
Stop Handgun Violence(SHV) is a Massachusetts based non-profit organization committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common-sense gun laws. SHV has been the lead advocate in Massachusetts for enactment of the most effective gun violence prevention laws and first in the nation consumer protection regulations. The organization does not seek to restrict Constitutional rights, but advocates only for common sense legislation that will help save lives. For more information, go to www.stophandgunviolence.org