While the activism around gun violence following the Parkland shooting has largely been spearheaded by high school students, various students, faculty, and staff at the university level have found ways to show their solidarity with the movement.
One such student is College senior Jana Korn, who is one of the organizers behind Philadelphia's "March For Our Lives," happening on March 24 and 9:30 a.m.
According to the official website for the movement, “March For Our Lives” will consist of more than 800 events worldwide, including one in Philadelphia.
The march in Philadelphia will start at 5th and Market streets before trailing through Old City and concluding with a rally at Lombard Circle at Columbus Blvd.
This march is not the first time that Korn, a member of Penn Democrats, has campaigned for stricter gun laws.
“I got connected to the [Philly] organizers because of the event that happened here on campus that a few of us organized a few weeks ago,” Korn said, referring to the gun violence protest which took place on Locust Walk on Feb. 22. Students gathered with homemade signs to commemorate the lives lost to the 371 mass shootings that have taken place in the United States since the beginning of the year.
For the Philadelphia "March for Our Lives" event, Korn was responsible for managing the student outreach team which consists of a group of students from different high schools and universities across the city.
“I was in touch with them over the last few weeks making sure they were doing everything that they needed to do to make sure we had as many students turn out as possible,” she said.
Korn, an Urban Studies major, emphasized the importance of Philadelphia's participation in the march.
“We have a gun violence problem here – it’s not just about mass shootings – it’s about the kids in North Philly that experience it here," she added. "Philly needs to stand up and have a voice on its own as well.”
According to the Philadelphia Police, the city had seen 66 homicides in 2018 as of March 22.
While Korn is working to organize events in Philadelphia, College freshman Simran Chand will be traveling with Penn Democrats to Washington D.C. on Saturday to participate in the march happening the nation's capital.
Chand is from Newtown, Conn., the site of the Sandy Hook mass shooting in 2012.
“I was in eighth grade at the time,” Chand recounted. “It was easily the most traumatic day of my entire life; it feels like it was yesterday. If I think about it for too long I start to cry.”
“I guess the fact that I’m trying shows that I haven’t given up hope,” Chand added. “A life is worth so much more than a piece of metal, so much more.”
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