March For Our Lives Chicago: A Young Activist Perspective

I, along with a hundred thousand other Chicagoans, marched this past Saturday at the March for Our Lives Chicago in Union Park. As a young activist, the march reaffirmed my support of gun reform and the need for more resources on Chicago’s South and West sides to combat gun-violence both in and outside of schools. Additionally, Chicago’s MFOL was led by a group of extremely talented teens from around the city, who did an amazing job of making the event truly intersectional and inclusive. 

One message that me and many of my friends received from this new movement, is that we are capable of making change and influencing the most powerful officials in our government. As a teen, I kind of already believed this. Blame it on the hormones or the still-growing brain, but teens know that as a collective we are forceful, resilient, and unstoppable.

Due to this, I found an equally powerful message coming out of the march this weekend that was directed instead at the adults in attendance: listen to us, we are the future. And so as the youngest member of CWTA, I would like to offer some advice to those who would like to support the movement.

  1. Listen to the teens impacted by gun violence in your communities.

  2. Allow teens to lead any discussions surrounding issues that directly impact them.

  3. Learn from teens who have grown up in the digital age and experience the world differently that those who are making decisions for us.

  4. Provide teens with the resources that they need.

  5. Support Chicago Students Union, Young Urban Progressives, Youth for Black Lives, Gather Activism, and other student run organizations.

    Chloe Wagner
    Senior, Francis Parker High School
    Member, Chicago Women Take Action
    Leader, Chicago Teens Take Action

    March For Our Lives Chicago, Saturday March 24, 2018, Photo by Jean-Marc Giboux