In the face of a very difficult subject to discuss, four of Rochester's youth will take a stand against gun violence in schools in Washington D.C. next weekend.

March For Our Lives (which students are participating in) developed after the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Locally, it all started as an essay contest at church.

A press release explains, "After submitting an essay on the reasons behind their call to participate, why gun violence is an important social justice issue, 14 youth were chosen to represent the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ at the march and meet with legislators on March 23rd and 24th, 2018.  Four of them are coming from Rochester, Gavin Bloch, Peter Haug, Melina Lopez and Sela Rist." The students are from Peace United Church of Christ in Rochester.

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Personally, I enjoyed this excerpt from Melina Lopez's essay. It reads, "We as a faith community need to make sure that we're not just praying, not just keeping those who are in pain in our thoughts. We need to make sure that we're turning our compassion and kindness for others into action to make the world a better place," and I believe her concern to be sincere. Let's be honest, the fact that these kids took time to write these essays speaks volumes in itself.

We may not know what the answer to solving gun violence is yet, but moments like this prove students are being heard.

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