Young Athenians who traveled to Washington to participate in last month’s March For Our Lives against gun violence will share their experiences at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Tuesday afternoon.
The 4:30 p.m. event, a meeting of the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement’s Teen Social Justice Meetup, is open to the public.
The event will also include a question-and answer-period with some candidates running for seats on the Clarke County Board of Education in the May 22 election.
The trip was life-changing, for at least one of the teenagers and younger students who made the trip.
“It just made me open my eyes a little and think about a bigger picture,” said Elijah Massicot, a recent high school graduate. “It changed the way I look at and think about things. I don’t just think about myself. This has woken me up.”
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement raised funds to take Massicot and about a dozen other people to Washington, D.C., for the march, where they joined hundreds of thousands of other marchers.
“It wasn’t just one race, not just one gender,” said Massicot, calling the trip and the march “the best experience of my life.” Hundreds of thousands more people participated in sister marches in hundreds of cities across the United States and other countries, including one in Athens. Many were young people like the Athens students.
Older people may feel that younger voices are unimportant, but the March For our Lives showed otherwise, Massicot said. And it’s younger people who are most often the victims of gun violence, he noted. He dedicated the trip to a friend, Tremell “Mello” Barnett, who died of a gunshot wound last year at 16.
“I hate the way it came together (with the deaths of 17 people shot to death at a Florida high school),” but “I was so happy that I was part of this,” he said. “I loved that I could be a part of history, when teenagers spoke and they had confidence. I feel like this is only the beginning.”