In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, communities across the country have come together to help protect our schools and our students. What makes this gun violence prevention movement different from groups in the past is that it is lead by teenagers.
I think that is amazing.
It is amazing that teenagers are using their voices to make change. And not just small changes, they are pushing for legislation. Seeing the bravery from the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and how they started to use their voices to make change, I thought that I needed to be doing the same. I need to use my voice because I don’t want my high school to be the next victim of gun violence.
I used my voice on March 24th at the Vernon Hills (IL) March for Our Lives rally. I spoke in front of over 2,000 community members. This experience truly opened my eyes to the world of advocacy. It showed me that advocacy is more than just saying “I believe that…” or sharing a link on Facebook. It is about getting involved in your community, and stepping up when you feel something isn’t right. But the most important part of this kind of advocacy is community. If I am the only one who speaks up, will change come? I think there is power in numbers, and when individuals come together as one change will happen. We can achieve more together as a community.
The Illinois Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, or RAC-IL, is trying to bring individuals together. RAC-IL was created to empower synagogues and individuals to help better their communities, and truly engage in the work of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Through RAC-IL, people from all walks of life will be able to use their voices to speak up for what is right.
If you are interested in gun violence prevention, immigration reform, or any social justice topic, I encourage you to attend the RAC-IL Public Launch on April 25th at Chicago Sinai Congregation. This is an opportunity for you to get involved and use your voice to make change.
6:00 PM – Dinner and networking for high schoolers interested in social justice
7-8:30PM – Reform IL Public Launch
You can RSVP through the live registration link, or simply email our Lead Organizer, Julie Webb, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you will also be attending the dinner and networking for high schoolers.
Danielle Wolff is a senior at Vernon Hills High School, in Vernon Hills, IL. She is a member of Congregation Or Shalom, where she is a Hebrew tutor and president of the high school youth group. She is currently a fellow in the RAC’s Teen Fellowship.