Students carried caskets to symbolize impact of gun violence on community and called for an end to the violence
Gwen Belton, Communications Director
MIAMI, FL—Over 200 participants from the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project led the 39th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade on Jan. 18, 2016, and called on the community to “Stop The Violence” that is destroying families and communities. Representing 10 Miami-Dade county Public Schools, the Role Models carried signs calling for an end to the gun violence that has claimed the lives of numerous South Florida students. To symbolize the deep impact of gun violence on the community, students in white gloves carried child-sized caskets and rolled adult caskets along the entire route of the annual MLK parade.
The various signs read: “This is not What Dr. King Wanted,” “Young Gifted and Dead,” “Let Me Live,” “Put Your Guns Down,” “No More Murders,” “Our Community Is Not a War Zone,” and “Stop Killing our Kids.” As the white caskets passed, the solemn look on the faces of the people in the crowd and their applause signaled their solidarity and support of Role Models message. Congress-woman Wilson, founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, released the following statement:
“We organize forums, town hall meetings and symposiums on gun violence all the time; but who is in attendance, grieving parents, family members and supportive organizations, and never the shooters. We must reach those who are committing these crimes. We hope that the heart wrenching sight of little boys carrying caskets that symbolize the hundreds of children killed by gun-violence presents a vivid picture to the killers, shooters, murderers and gang bangers of the effects of their actions. Let this be a wake-up call and persuade them to put down their guns and end this senseless violence,” said Congresswoman Wilson.