by Hannah Bender, NFTY-TOR Programming Vice President 2018-2019

On June 2nd, I had a very profound and meaningful experience. I attended an Everytown for Gun Safety – a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities- event in Dallas with my closest friends from NFTY.

As teens that are not quite voting age, we were not sure how welcomed we would be at this event. Still, we took the initiative to attend and our doubts were quickly alleviated by warm greetings from the local DFW chapter of Students Demand Action, an organization that has ties to Moms Demand Action. We were eager for the opportunity to join and learn with them.

The formal part of the event kicked off with speakers that leveled everyone in room with their heartbreaking and admirable stories. This truly set the stage for the reason everyone had come to this event.

It was humbling to hear the speakers’ heart wrenching stories as they had all experienced loss from gun violence. The courage it took for them to share their pain and the unifying message behind their stories left a lasting impact on every person in the room. As some of the youngest people in room, we had the opportunity to meet state senate candidate Nathan Johnson who promised us peace of mind for the coming election because he represents the potential for change.

We left the event knowing that a better future is possible if we continue to allow our voices to be heard and we look forward to sharing this message with our NFTY peers.