You Can Be An Activist Too

Teenagers are more active in the political sphere than ever before, due to recent human rights violations and surge of school shootings. If American politicians were doing their jobs correctly, there would be changes occurring instead of stagnant legislation that spends too long in draft and never makes it to a desk. Teens are not complacent anymore, and are calling out for the leaders of our country to look out for their wellbeing. Many are critical of young figures coming forth to express their voices, claiming that they lack the experience to have a valid political opinion. However, developing technologies and increasing presence of the media make it easy for teens to be informed on current affairs, and the rising number of school shootings inspires teenagers to take a stand against gun violence. Criticism can be dissuasive for those seeking to start a platform, especially in younger demographics, but it is necessary to voice your truth regardless of discord. 

All voices are valid and can be heard. There is no limit on age, sexuality, gender, race, or background, as every individual's voice has power and should hold weight in Washington. A particularly inspiring story is that of Mollie Davis, an 18-year-old communications major at Hollins University in Virginia. Her goals are to become an investigative reporter, Broadway playwright, and foster mom. While she has always had an interest in politics, her priorities were rearranged when a shooting occurred at Great Mills High School in Maryland. Since that date, she has grown an active Twitter following, become an activist for gun reform, and participated in political movements nationwide. She has always been passionate about politics, but she would unfortunately not have a following if it were not for the tragedy, but she has blossomed in her new role. The events at her high school negatively impact her mental health to an extent that nobody, but especially not a teenager, should be faced with. Regardless, they inspired her to speak up for gun reform. While she finds herself more paranoid on a daily basis, she has grown a platform for remarkable change despite her challenges. Mollie’s ability to flourish and grow her platform should be an inspiration to those wishing to make a change, yet do not know if their voices can be heard.

Mollie’s journey of activism formally began after the proceedings of March 20, 2018. Because she was involved in such an event, she has grown her social media to have over four-thousand followers. Her success spans outside of the virtual world as well. She has organized many events and services and participated in marches to spread awareness for gun reform. She was able to meet and bond with Maryland Senators to discuss how the current national and state gun laws are not adequate and final to protect students from threats. It is valuable for Senators to hear voices from the young demographic such as Mollie, as gun reform directly impacted her life. 

This short YouTube documentary gives brief insight into Mollie’s daily life as an activist with a stutter, and sheds light on the fact that no challenge should or will prevent her from enacting change. Mollie has given speeches at rallies and participated in the School Shooting WUSA9 Documentary because of her dedication and perseverance.

She helped organize and build the National Die-In Day in Washington DC on June 12 with teen activists nationwide. 

The pouring rain did not stop her from going to the Students for a Safer Maryland Rally.

Mollie was asked to be in the Guns In America TIME Cover for an article surrounding the differing views on gun violence and rights across the united states. It is a grand achievement to be recognized by TIME, and taking part in this project allowed her to gain insight into many differing perspectives on the 2nd Amendment.

Her favorite part of her platform is connections she has made, as she has “met some of my closet friends through activism and I wouldn't have met them otherwise. It sucks that we were all brought together because of such awful things but those bonds have been the light in the dark for me”. To aspiring change makers, Mollie wants to relay that “You aren't going to change the world over night, remember that and learn to be okay with it. We're in this for the long haul. Just because midterms could have gone better doesn't mean that everything we did working up to them was pointless. I put my everything into planning the walkout at my school only for the shooting to happen less than a week later. But it wasn't for nothing. You can't control what the world throws at you but you can control yourself and how you overcome the losses”. Mollie’s realistic, yet hopeful, worldview encapsulates why it is so vital for younger generations to take initiative, and she has much more maturity than most individuals of any age lack.

We can all be activists, on different platforms and for different causes. Each of us has different experiences and priorities, and the best part about America is that we have a system that allows any opinion to have a stage. Speaking up for change, even if it is just to a small audience at first, will never be for nothing.