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Silence is no longer an option…



This new generation refuses to be silent. We can see it in our neighborhoods, cities, states, and the country as a whole. March 24, 2018, was the day hundreds of thousands of students and young people from all across the United States marched to protest gun violence. This all began after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This would be the final blow that would cause the uprise in all this change. The years of growing up with mass shootings and the communities affected by gun violence every day would drive the movement and make them advocate for change.

Titled March For Our Lives, the victims in Parkland led the movement and encouraged young people all across the country to advocate for change with them. 2018 was the year if student activism. Youth in Providence participated in this movement as well. Participating in the march, they surrounded the State House and spoke about how gun violence has affected them and calling for change. One year later, and we are back, advocating for better gun violence prevention legislation. On March 23, 2019, we will rally at the Rhode Island State House and use our greatest weapon to make a change. Our voice. We invite everyone in Rhode Island to join, especially young people to join us on this day. It is our lives and future and we are putting it in the hands of others blindly. If we want to make a difference, we need to advocate for it.

As a co-founder for March For Our Lives Rhode Island, I am pleased to announce that on Saturday, March 23rd,1pm-3pm, at the Rhode Island State House, March For Our Lives RI will be hosting activists, legislators, and all those with a voice to be heard. We will rally to honor the first anniversary of the Parkland tragedy, the political movement it spurred, and the ongoing necessity to end gun violence. We hope to see as many fellow Rhode Islanders who believe in this issue to come and fight with us. In order to combat this issue, we must be one as a community and use peace to combat the hate from the other side. The yellow rose is our symbol this year, representing all that our chapter holds dear. We hope that March 23rd will a day that will go down as a movement of young people in the state of Rhode Island.

Xavier Copeland is a 17-year-old resident of Providence Rhode Island and junior at Classical High School. He is currently one of the co-founders for March For Our Lives Rhode Island and has been an activist for almost 3 years. He is also a member of Young Voices and Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.