UNCG joined the ranks of a number of schools who participated in the student-led movement for gun control on March 13 by performing a walkout to the front steps of the Curry building. The walkout commenced across the country at 10 a.m. and lasted 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting that took place on Feb. 14.
“What an honor and privilege it is to be here today with you. Imagine, a few teenagers in Florida sparking a national conversation using civil disobedience, protests and collective action through alliances like this to say no more gun violence,” said Spoma Jovanovic, opening the floor. “Similarly, we had that happen here in Greensboro in 1960, and we know the changes that came about. I am hopeful and optimistic with you that we will see big changes in the near future.”
A moment of somber silence was taken for the tragedy, followed by an identification of the names of those who were killed.
Student leaders from the Middle College of UNCG as well as UNCG students shared their wishes for peace and reform. Middle college speakers also informed the crowd about the March For Our Lives, a rally to spread awareness and activism against gun violence, taking place on March 24.
The March for Our Lives in Greensboro is set to begin in Government Square Plaza at 2 p.m. From there, the crowd will march to LeBauer Square Park where a rally will be held and led by student speakers and performers until 6. There will be food trucks, vendors and merchandise for sale as well.
The March For Our Lives is a global movement that will be taking place in communities all across the United States as well as countries all over the world on March 24. There are 766 events planned worldwide for the March For Our Lives.
“It is truly inspiring to see so many people out here fighting for the right for our lives. My mom is a US Army veteran working for the Department of Defense, and she is going to Iraq next month. My dad is an elementary school teacher. As their son, I should not have to worry about both of my parents going to work in warzones,” said Noah Ambrose, a student at UNCG who spoke at the walkout. “I just want all of you to remember that your resistance here doesn’t stop today. It doesn’t even stop at the March 24 March For Our Lives. It stops at the ballot box.”
The students and faculty gathered on the steps of Curry held signs that read things like “give teachers books not guns,” “UNCG stands with Parkland,” and “which school is next?” while they continued to hear from students speaking out about recurring themes such as love and empowerment.
As the walkout neared its ending, Jovanovic left the group with words to hold onto until the March For Our Lives rally.
“The 17 minutes has come to a close but not our actions, not our hearts and certainly not the next steps.”