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A Glimmer of Hope in the Aftermath of Gun Violence #WATWB

Welcome to the 18th installment of the #WATWB (We are the World Blogfest.) We participants in the monthly posting (last Friday of the month) strive to link to an inspiring story that shows love, humanity, hope, and/or brotherhood. Our talented cohosts for this month are: Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese and Roshan Radhakrishnan. Please check out their excellent posts and say hello.

This month, I went searching for some good news I could share about the struggle to end gun violence. Gun violence shattered me after the murder of my dear friend and coworker some 30 years ago. The pain and anger returned when I listened to activist Emma Gonzalez’s poignant speech following the Valentine’s Day mass murder at Parkland High School in Florida. Her eloquent words, intensified by tears and a 4-minute, 20-second silence (the time it took Nicholas Cruz to finish murdering 17 people), inspired me to write an essay on healing gun violence through activism (published on the Bullets into Bells website on 9/11 at https://bulletsintobells.com/2018/09/11/healing-violence-through-activism/.)

How do we heal the rage and pain caused by the violation by violence? How do we find a reason to hope again?

While searching for something hopeful that can happen in the aftermath of a mass shooting, I came across a review from NPR about a book written by the teenage founders of the March For Our Lives Movement: Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement. Published on Oct 16th by Penguin Random House, the book had 4 reviews yesterday, two more today, and will have at least one more tomorrow after I finish reading this well-written, moving account by young people who went through something no one should ever have to go through.

The book review, written by NPR intern Aubri Juhasz of All Things Considered, was released on October 23rd. Aubri writes that this book provides a blueprint for launching social change. The positive thing is that kids channeled their rage and sorrow into a rallying cry for social and political change, and went on to create one of the largest youth-led movements in global history. The credit for the success of March For Our Lives — in terms of building a movement and engaging others — goes to the tech-savvy teenagers who have effectively wielded what they describe as their socioeconomic privilege, platform, and social media power. In keeping with their ongoing fight to end gun violence in all communities, the student authors and leaders decided that a hundred percent of net proceeds from this book will be paid to the nonprofit March For Our Lives Action Fund. What a fine example of young people walking the walk and living the talk.

Another hopeful result: the timing of the book’s release may help to return the subject of the Parkland shooting to national consciousness just in time for midterm elections, encouraging voters to elect officials who will fulfill some of the Parkland survivors’ 10 requests (clearly listed in this very moving book, which I am reading relentlessly). Their work is focused on the future — aiming to ensuring that Parkland is the last mass school shooting in their lifetimes. Now wouldn’t that be loverly?

Check out the full NPR review at https://www.npr.org/2018/10/23/659474008/glimmer-of-hope-provides-a-blueprint-for-launching-social-change

You might want to take a look at the website https://marchforourlives.com/ as well. Watch their videos, and be prepared to weep.

Link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-Hope-Tragedy-Sparked-Movement-ebook/dp/B07FSX8V6W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540452806&sr=8-1&keywords=Glimmer+of+hope

6 Comments

  1. Gail Baugniet (@GailMBaugniet) on October 26, 2018 at 6:50 am

    After all that those students endured, including derision for what some considered “paid for” protests, I feared they would succumb to the pressure and abandon their cause. Thanks for making me aware of their successful progress and determination, Lizbeth.

    • Lizbeth Hartz on October 26, 2018 at 7:16 am

      You’re welcome, Gail, and thanks for reading my post and commenting. I suspect the “paid for” protests claim is another example of fake news, given that all proceeds of the Glimmer of Hope book go to fund the fight to stop mass murders.

  2. susan scott on October 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Lizbeth, thank you – what strikes me is how they were able to turn their rage and sorrow into a movement for social & political change. And their magnanimity for profits to go towards March for our Lives Action Fund.

    • Lizbeth Hartz on October 27, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      You’re welcome, Susan. I’m struck by the very same thing, am reading the book. How admirable these young people are, and stalwart, not letting politicians push them aside, stating their demands, getting young people to vote for those who are committed to changing the laws to derail gun violence/mass shootings.

  3. Mary J Giese on October 27, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I hope that this is the future of our country, that these students and others like them will embrace political and social change in the years to come. We need to end the violence and hate that has permeated our country and world far too often.

    Thanks for sharing this post and a book (which I intend to read) and for being part of #WATWB.

    • Lizbeth Hartz on October 27, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks for reading this, Mary, and your thoughtful comment. I agree, and I’m reading the book, wow, very moving, and the kids are so together, awesome activists.

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