Herbert Hoover stated it eloquently, “Children are our most valuable resource.”
Emma González is just an ordinary teen. Fiercely independent, speaks her mind and just like most, wears her strong emotions on her sleeve.
Yet Emma, is far from ordinary. In February ’18, a gunman stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people. Emma didn’t let that tragedy defeat her. No way. It sparked a ferocious fire within her. Emma began a national campaign to end gun violence. She emerged as one of the leaders of this new movement and co-founded the gun-control advocacy group Never Again MSD.
She wears daily reminders of the victims of Parkland; an array of rubber bracelets on her left arm. The bands are the memories that no person should ever have to witness. You’ll see on Emma’s right wrist, friendship bracelets. “I have friends who are still alive on my other bracelets,” she says.
In March ’18, she conveyed one powerful speech at the March for Our Lives in D.C. 4 minutes.
Four minutes of silence.
240 seconds was the short length of time it took the gunman to kill 17 people and wound 17 more. Emma read their names out loud. The names of her dead classmates.
Because of her advocacy and activism, Florida lawmakers passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act in March 2018, which raised the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21 and requires a 3 day waiting period for most weapons. Progress. Thanks Emma.
What were YOU doing at the age of 15? I remember vividly, sitting in my bedroom, listening to music and drawing. I wasn’t protesting climate change. Greta Thunberg, at the age of 15, staged her first, solitary protest in August ’18 at the steps of Parliament in Stockholm, Sweden.
You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard…. You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don’t exist any more. Because you did not act in time.Courtesy of Wikipedia
Since then, more than one million students have joined her by walking out of their classrooms to protest against climate change inaction. Greta’s words and passion have inspired MANY. On March ’19 an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined Greta’s call in striking and protesting.
Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.courtesy of The Guardian
“Greta, who has been open about how her autism has shaped her activism, recently joined the Extinction Rebellion protests in London and gave a speech at the House of Commons.” – Courtesy of BBC
“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls.”Malala
2012 She spoke out publicly on behalf of girls and their right to learn. And this made Malala a target. One day on her way home from school, a masked gunman boarded her school bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” And then he shot her on the left side of her head
Just like a phoenix from the ashes, the assassination attempt didn’t stop her. She had a choice, she could live a quiet life, or fight.
Malala now travels to many countries to meet other girls fighting poverty, wars, child marriage and gender discrimination. Malala Fund is working so that their stories will be heard around the world.
In 2014 she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
With more than 130 million girls excluded from education today, Malala has her work cut out for her. There is so much more work to be done. She continues her fight for education and equality. Together, she hopes, we can create a world where all girls can learn and lead.