Photo Essay: Chicago CRED Joins March For Our Lives in DC

Social Justice

Among the massive crowd at Saturday's historic March For Our Lives event were dozens of men from Chicago CRED. They made the journey, along with more than 400 students, from Chicago to help deliver a clear message: ending gun violence in America is about more than mass shooters or gangs. It's about decreasing access to guns through sensible policy and building the support systems our communities need. And in this moment, it's about listening to our young people when they say that together, we can create change.

Since the February 14 massacre in Parkland, young activists from Chicago have become an integral part of the national youth-led movement against gun violence. While the lives of young people growing up in South Florida versus South Chicago are stunningly different in many ways, they are forever bound together by tragedy.

For the young men on a journey to end Chicago's cycle of violence with Chicago CRED, the day was a chance to reflect, share strength, and celebrate resiliency. Many of the men have survived multiple shootings or have been shooters themselves.

"I know a lot of people who lost their lives to gun violence, and some were my family and close friends," says James, a CRED participant. "I feel like it’s my mission to march for them."

Our pain in Chicago has been underreported and underappreciated," Emerson Collective Managing Partner Arne Duncan told MSNBC. "To have our young men and women be able to share their powerful stories with the nation, I can't tell you how hopeful that makes me."