Dan Rosenblum, chair of our Social Action Committee, submitted this nomination to the AEU for this year’s Elliott-Black Award, named for late Ethical Culture leaders John Lovejoy Elliott and Algernon Black.
Name of nominee: March for Our Lives
A description of the actions for which you’re nominating the person/organization.
On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 students and staff members and injuring 17 others. March for Our Lives is the organization of students from that high school who, having survived the mass killing at their school, have organized at local, state, and national levels for changes in firearms laws and policies to end gun violence. They have committed themselves to a broad and well-thought-out campaign of organizing to change Florida’s and America’s firearms policies, including a focus on increasing youth voter turnout.
Why you’re nominating the person/organization – be sure to include why you believe this person/organization has exhibited exceptional moral courage in actions which represent Ethical Culture/Ethical Humanist values.
These high school students have confronted their own grief and shock at the events at their school. Rather than turn inward, they have directed their pain and passion to changing the circumstances that fostered the mass killing at their school. In doing so, they have faced scorn, vitriol, and outright threats from an array of opponents, ranging from established politicians, powerful organizations such as the NRA, and online hate groups. They have also confronted skepticism from many who doubt that high school students could possibly engage in effective, organized activism. Their answer to all of this has been to confront and speak fearlessly to their opponents, to expand their organizing to build a national movement of young people dedicated to ending gun violence, and to challenge all of us, especially youth, to join in their effort to transform America’s policies and attitudes towards firearms.
For more information about these students’ activism, visit the March for Our Lives web site.