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Parkland Survivors Speak Up for Minority Gun Violence Victims with #StoriesUntold

If you thought the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were done yet, think again.

#StoriesUntold, the latest initiative out of Parkland, FL after the Feb. 14th school shooting — following the student-organized March For Our Lives and speech upon speech advocating for gun reform in the U.S. —was sparked from a realization that students with minority backgrounds from MSD high school were not being as represented by the media as their white peers.

Carlitos Rodriguez, a 17-year-old junior from the high school, began the hashtag on Twitter following the students’ return to school earlier this week in an attempt to provide a spotlight for his fellow survivors that aren’t being properly represented.

Rodriguez tells Teen Vogue that he has already started compiling a video series of MSD survivors sharing their experiences from the day of the shooting.

“I’m a video production student, so I have the ability to leave class and record with other students,” he says.

“I want to let students that have experienced gun violence and haven’t been able to speak out know to never feel like they have to stay in silence. #StoriesUntold is a place where their voices will be amplified.”

The hashtag has spread to include experiences of those outside of Parkland. Rodriguez says he’s hoping to hear from students in cities like Chicago, Boston and Baltimore where gun violence is a prevalent issue.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Voice Heard after the Parkland Shooting

Students and other survivors are using the hashtag to recount their experiences and give voice to victims including people of color, ultimately to shed some light on gun violence in minority communities.

Broward County, which includes Parkland, is the most racially diverse county in South Florida.

“I hope that throughout the years, gun violence isn’t something that #StoriesUntold has to cover anymore,” Rodriguez says. “I hope that the stories run out. I hope that the water stops running from there. I don’t want anybody to ever live through it. Not only at school — anywhere.”

Brigitte graduated from Suffolk University in the heart of Boston, MA in 2016. Since then, she's been reading lots of celebrity memoir, sipping her way to the bottom of every coffee mug, and searching for the perfect fall bootie. Follow her on Twitter @BrigittteMarie and Instagram @brigittttemarie.