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Dear Friends,

The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to offer the following reflection celebrating the rise of women’s voice in our time. Please feel free to participate in our project by suggesting women whose voices ought to be heard.

We publish these on-going reflections on the eighth of every month in honor of March 8, International Women’s Day. We are hoping that you will engage your friends in reflective dialogue, maybe even form small discussion groups. Please share with us your feedback and reflections.

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MARCHING FOR OUR LIVES

Emma Gonzalez
Eighteen Year Old Stoneman Douglas High School Senior
Parkland, Florida
Survivor of the February 14, 2018 School Shooting
In which 17 people were killed

Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed but our laws have not.     

We certainly do not understand why it should be harder to make plans with friends on weekends than to buy an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.

Emma Gonzales
March 24, 2018
Washington, DC

In every generation, there are people who rise up in the cause of coming to the aid of others. In many ways, Emma Gonzalez typifies and symbolizes a new and emerging generation of young people who will not settle for the status quo.

Emma’s voice is the voice of those who seek to be themselves for the sake of others. Her powerful and moving speech on March 24, 2018 at the Washington, DC March for Our Lives was more than about gun legislation.
Emma and her fellow students are rapidly becoming a voice that no longer accepts discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or citizenship status.   This emerging generation would have us reconsider our laws and beliefs as a people and a Nation in light of the new World in which we live. While we might not agree with every perspective and proposal, there is no doubt a new consciousness has emerged.

Emma belongs to a generation of young people we have been expecting. It would do us well if the powerful politicians and government leaders of our Nation would meet them, dialogue with them, learn from them.

Rest assured, that as time goes on, this new generation of young citizens will not be a monolithic voice with a single ideology. They are and will be articulate, intelligent, engaged, and responsible people who will make America proud once more.

Thank you, Emma, for having the courage to be there for us in your time of loss and grief. Thanks to all the students who in their time of grief became our hour of hope.

REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS

Are you encouraged by this new generation of younger people? Why or why not?

Did you ever have remarkable courage in a time of loss?

Have you thanked a student for their courage and willingness to speak out for justice?

How can you foster greater support for our students and their teachers?

MEDITATION

 

Holy One of the Universe,
You speak to us in the voice of the young.
Give us the courage and humility to hear their longing for life.
You bless us through them,
Without them we have no future, no hope of being a better people.
Help us to realize
That all children anywhere
Are our children everywhere.
May the violence stop.
May compassion be the order of the day
And the rule of my heart.
Let the children come to me that I may embrace and bless the World.