What does our future look like when young people lead?
This inspiring question was the foundation of Dan Rather and David Hogg’s SXSW EDU conversation. David—the 18 year-old author, co-founder of March For Our Lives, and recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—is a passionate advocate for the power of the youth voice and spoke to how his and his classmates’ experiences helped to fuel his activism.
Dan Rather started the session by asking attendees for a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Parkland shooting. Following the collective remembrance, Dan and David had an insightful conversation about how young people can find and use their voice—and how adults can better empower young people to do so.
These are just a few of our favorite quotes from David Hogg:
- “Marjory Stoneman Douglas herself was a gun violence prevention advocate. She was at the signing of the Brady Bill. . . . She was an environmentalist, a woman’s suffragette, and a civil rights activist. So, we have a lot to live up to as students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but I think we’re doing pretty good so far.”
- “If anybody is here that doesn’t agree with me, first of all, thank you for being here and even listening to us. Because I know that [listening to those you don’t agree with] can be one of the hardest things to do.”
- “We only continue to stigmatize mental health. . . . A vast majority of the time, statistically speaking, violently ill individuals are more likely to be the victims of gun violence, not the perpetrators.”
- “[March for Our Lives is] financed primarily by smaller dollar contributions from people like you guys that donate to marchforourlives.com. I think our average donation amount is $9.00.”
- “One of the best solutions to school safety is community observance and reducing class size. The people that know best what’s going on with their students are not police officers or even principals—they’re going to be the teachers within those classrooms in the first place.”
- “I think the best way of supporting students who are afraid to come to school as a result of gun violence is by acknowledging that it’s something that shouldn’t happen. Try to encourage [students] to see it as an act of courage to come to school.”
Watch David and Dan's entire conversation.