By Ravyn Hardwick, Contributing Reporter
The Howard University chapter of March for Our Lives held a candlelight vigil at the flagpole on the Yard to honor victims of gun violence.
The vigil, which took place on Feb. 19, also addressed police brutality, a major point of contention within the black community in recent years. The organization’s mission is to harness the power of young, black students at Howard to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives.
Iesha Daniels, chapter president, said the organization decided to hold this event because the “majority of the time the media only focuses on men who have been killed due to gun violence, so we wanted to make sure that we highlighted women who have also fallen victim to gun violence.”
Howard student Cassidy Jones set the tone of the vigil by leading the crowd in the singing of James Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
With their candles lit, students called out the names of women who have fallen victim to gun violence such as Atatiana Jefferson, India Mackey, Destiny Harrison, Lashonda Childs, Kiki Fantroy and Muhlaysia Booker.
They also acknowledged men such as Trayvon Martin, Nipsey Hussle, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and Pop Smoke. Before the vigil concluded, students also called out the names of people they knew personally who have been affected by gun violence.
“Events like this one really bring the campus together,” journalism major Carrington York said. “Unfortunately, as people of color in America, the effects of gun violence is something we know all too well.”
Lucero Walker, vice president, said that overall the organization wanted to “let the Howard community know that we are always trying to honor those who have paved the way for us.”
March for Our Lives has more events coming up in March as the chapter celebrates “HU MFOL Week” where members plan to throw a daily event to bring more awareness to the organization and its mission.
One event will be “Pizza, Politics & Posters” where students will be able to talk about politics as they make posters for an upcoming protest. This event will be a partnership with the Howard chapter of the NAACP.
For more information and updates on activities, follow the organization’s Instagram page: @howardmfol.