Nearly 50 Fairfield students made the trek to Washington to support gun reform and be a part of the international movement.
History is being made and students are the ones who are making it.
— Gianna Llewellyn '19, one of the Fairfield student organizers.
On a chilly March afternoon, Stags joined thousands of other students, teachers, parents, children, and concerned citizens in Washington, D.C., to participate in one of the hundreds of March for Our Lives events around the world – a day of activism to draw awareness to and support for national gun reform.
Equipped with signs and sneakers, the Fairfield group joined the rally on Pennsylvania Ave. to hear from speakers that included Martin Luther King, Jr.’s granddaughter and survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and to listen to live performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Hudson, and more.
“March for Our Lives was a moment that no person in attendance will ever forget,” said Gianna Llewellyn ’19, a film, television and media arts major, and one of the Fairfield student organizers of the trip. “The whole trip taught us that our voices, no matter how seemingly insignificant, do make a difference. This march was only the beginning and our sentiment for those we have lost does not end after this weekend.”
Llewellyn and Caroline McDermott ’18, a political science major, reached out to Ophelie Rowe-Allen, PhD, associate dean of students, director of residential life, and director of student diversity and multicultural affairs, and explained how essential it was for students to be involved. With Rowe-Allen’s full support, the students encouraged their peers to join them in what they knew would be something bigger than themselves.
“Gianna and Caroline bring forth three fundamental values of Jesuit Philosophy – social justice, solidarity, and compassion,” said Dr. Rowe-Allen. “I was proud to stand with students at the rally and listen to the conversations they were having with each other as they reacted to the different voices on stage. There were students from different backgrounds engaging, reflecting, and feeling inspired to understand and address issues of justice that sometimes rattle our society. It was an emotional time for everyone.”
So, what’s next for Llewellyn? She’s working on continuing campus involvement in the gun control movement, especially through encouraging students to promote local change by reaching out to their government officials.
“We will keep pushing forward for change until we get the proper laws, regulations, and safety that we deserve,” she said. “History is being made and students are the ones who are making it.”