Forum panel’s (left to right): Miami Dade School Board member Dr. Steven Gallon, Miami Heat Hall of Fame Alonzo Mourning, Community Activist Valencia Gunder, Tracy Mourning and Broward County School Board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood. (Photo credit: Korey Davis Photography/Mourning Family Foundation)
MIAMI, FL –Gun violence stood at the forefront of the conversation at Miami Dade College Wolfson campus, where local high schoolers were given a platform to address their concerns and vent their frustrations.
“We want a seat at the table where adults are making decisions about our lives,” Parkland school shooting survivor Mei-Ling Ho Shing shares with her peers. She and other students on-stage admit that adding more guns in school doesn’t contribute to their overall safety when injustices occur at the hands of armed law enforcement and racial profiling.
Miami Dade School Board member Dr. Steven Gallon charges the adult community to be more responsive and responsible for what’s happening in our own neighborhoods. “We need more men to provide guidance, life lessons and love to our young men.”
Waffle House hero, Jeremy Shaw, Jr. was greeted with warm cheers at the summit. He recounts the day he jumped into action to disarm a gunman in Tennessee, pointing out where he was injured. Despite the work he’s now doing to lessen gun violence, Shaw states that it will never end.
“How many of you have been directly affected by gun violence?” community activist Valencia Gunder of Liberty City polls the crowd. With the majority of the audience having raised their hands, the issue is clear… we’re in a state of crisis. A male student from Miami Gardens expressed how dangerous it feels just walking down the sidewalk in his own neighborhood.
“We have to look inward first, then outward towards policies,” Dr. Gallon
NAACP Miami Chapter President Ruben Roberts agrees, “It’s events like these that allow us to engage with our youth and include them in the conversation.”
Alonzo and Tracy Mourning create platforms for youth engagement through their Family Foundation and HoneyShine Inc. throughout the year. Follow @mourningfamilyfoundation for more info.