Students and Faith Leaders Spoke Eloquently About Preventing Gun Violence

As a remembrance of the victims of the Parkland, FL school shooting, three groups of amazing and dedicated student groups organized the “Valentine’s Not Gun Violence” Rally for Our Loved Ones:

ThoughtsPrayersAction, comprised of many college students who organized in 2017 to demand more than just “thoughts and prayers” every time another mass shooting occurs.

One Gun Gone, founded by artist Scott Lapham and his current and former students, is a multidisiplinary anti-gun violence art project in which students participate in a professional art making and marketing exercise that will end with RI’s first ever gun buy-back, literally taking guns off neighborhood streets.

Providence Student Union, formed in 2010 by students from Hope High School and now encompassing chapters in high schools across Providence, works to advance student rights and win an education system that treats students with dignity and respect.

⇓ Click below to open the Valentine’s Not Gun Violence image gallery ⇓

Jaychele Schenck, a youth organizer and leader with Young Voices, kicked off the rally with a poem:

empathy and emotion
things i’ve grown to have
love and devotion
i forgot how to laugh
shots ringing in my ears
i can’t tell if it’s close to here
hiding behind my peers
waiting for the coast to clear
we’re all living in fear
what school is next
no child left behind
that’s how it’s designed
won’t stop till the bill is signed
where is the blame assigned
we’re fighting for what’s right
because our futures are bright
like the the fire that glows when a bullet escapes
stop before it’s way too late
protect our futures
not our shooters
protect our youth
don’t put us on mute
awaiting change, and building range
we are now past the stage, of forgiveness
thoughts and prayers are not enough
this new generation’s tough
we will be the ones to bring politicians in cuffs
they need to start to wear gloves
the blood on their hands begins to stain
as long as they laws are sustained
this gun violence must be contained
make decisions with thoughts of our pain

Guns to Plowshares

An inspiring and dedicated force for gun violence prevention, G2P was founded by Rev. Liz Lerner MacClay, Minister of First Unitarian Church of Providence, members include:

  • First Unitarian Church of Providence
  • Temple Beth El
  • First Baptist Church of America
  • Central Congregational Church
  • Bethel A.M.E. Church

Co-Sponsored by the

Campaign for Gun Violence Prevention Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence
  • Moms Demand Action RI
  • Giffords
  • RI NOW (RI National Organization for Women)
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Nonviolence Institute
  • Guns to Plowshares
  • League of Women Voters RI
  • One Gun Gone
  • ThoughtsPrayersAction
  • NAACP Providence Branch
  • Planned Parenthood of RI