Emma González Is Using A Costume She Wore For Halloween A Few Years Ago To Remind Us Of The Nightmare She Survived

Friday, April 20, marked two major events that anti-gun violence advocates have hoped will bring about change. Not only did the date fall on the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine School Shooting that ravaged a small town in Colorado it also marked the country’s second National School Walkout of the year.

To show solidary with both victims of the school shooting at Columbine and the latest anti-gun violence movement, activist and leader Emma González dressed up.

Gonzalez redefined the color orange declaring it as a color for gun violence survivors on Twitter.

González posted two pictures of herself on the social media platform on Friday, both of which depicted her in an orange jumpsuit. The second photo featured the letters MSD on her back, which stand for her high school Marjory Stoneman Douglas where she and other students witnessed a shooter kill 17 fellow students and teachers this past February. González captioned the image with a message that read “Orange is the color for gun violence survivors, and we wear it today in solidarity of one another.”

González went onto explain that she had once used her orange jumpsuit for Halloween but was now using it solidarity with the 2015 movement #WearOrange. The hashtag was started by the family and friends Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was murdered in Chicago in 2013 after she was shot while leaving her school. Pendleton’s supporters chose the color to mirror on hunters who wear it to be seen while in the woods.

González further explained how the color also serves as a reflection of the way she and her peers have felt at their school in the wake of the shooting.

“This prisoner jumpsuit was my Halloween costume 2 years ago (OITNB),” she wrote. “But I wore it today because our schools are looking more like prisons and bomb shelters and less like the learning institutes our parents had the privilege of enjoying.”

Weeks after the shooting, Stoneman Douglas students returned to their school feeling invaded by new school policies that they complained made them feel like prisoners in their own school. In an attempt to prevent further incidents of gun violence, the school issued a slew of requirements for students including holding IDs on them at all times and using transparent plastic backpacks in place of the bags that carried their textbooks before the shooting.

Read: Emma González Opened Up To Ellen DeGeneres About Why She Chose To Call Out B.S. To ‘Get The Job Done Properly’

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Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day


Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day

American labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávezhas become a major historical icon for the Latino community. Streets, parks, and schools have been named after him, a film about his life garnered international acclaim and every year on March 31, millions across the country celebrate César Chávez Day.

While Chávez did so much to secure right for our community, it’s important to remember hat Latina activists also had a huge hand in changing the course of our history.

Here’s a look at seven of some of history’s most powerful Latina activists who led marches and fought for your civil rights.

Sylvia Mendez

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When it comes to the desegregation of schools in the country, American history often credits the case of Brown v. Board of Education for the changes. Barbara Rose Johns is also the one who is most typically considered to be the face of that movement after she led a 450-student walkout at a high school in Virginia in 1951. But history has largely written out the work of Sylvia Mendez an American civil rights activists of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent who played a key role in the integration movement back in 1946. Mendez v. Westminster was a case sparked by Mendez’s rejection from an all-white school in California back in 1943 when she was just eight years old. Mendez’s parents sued the school district and the landmark case which was ultimately settled in 1947 successfully desegregated public schools in California making it the first U.S. state to do so.

Dolores Huerta

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As a fierce civil rights activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta became a tireless advocate of the United Farm Workers union. The American-born Latina of Mexican descent originally started out her career as an elementary school teacher. After seeing kids in her class come to school hungry and in need of new shoes, she decided she would help organize their parents. She started to fight for economic improvements for Latino farm workers and pressed local government organizations to improve barrio conditions. In 1962, she co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as the United Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) with César Chávez. Her non-violent strikes and protests led to her 22 arrests. In 1997 she was named one of the three most important women of the year in by Ms. magazine.

Carmen Perez

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In 2017, Perez helped lead the country in its largest protest in U.S. history as a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. In her 20 year career as an activist, Perez has dedicated her advocacy to some of today’s most important civil rights issues including violence against women, mass incarceration, gender inequality and community policing. Before the Women’s March she helped launch a 9-day 250-mile march from New York City to Washington, DC called March2Justice which implored congressional lawmakers to turn their attention to the nation’s police justice crisis.

Berta Cáceres

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Best known for leading a campaign that opposed a dam on the Gualcarque River, Cáceres was an award-winning Indigenous environmental activist. In 2015, the Honduran environmentalist received the Goldman Environmental Prize for helming the grassroots effort that pushed the world’s largest dam builder to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Because of her efforts the river that was saved and considered to be sacred by the Lenca people, was still able to provide the nearby tribe access to water, food, and medicine. On March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated for her activism when two assailants broke into her home and shot her. Her murder sparked international outrage and brought attention to the fact that Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world for activists who fight to protect forests and rivers.

The Mirabal Sisters

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Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal were four sisters from the Dominican Republic who ferociously opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and became known as Las Mariposas. In 1959, after witnessing a = massacre executed by the Trujillo regime the sisters were sparked into activism and rallied communities into public protests that renounced Trujillo’s rule. Three of the sisters, Minerva, María Teresa, and Patria, were murdered for their advocacy when they were beaten to death by associates of the government. Following the death of Las Mariposas, Dominicans across the island decided they had had enough. Six months later, Trujillo’s dictatorship was brought down when he was assassinated.

Sylvia Rivera 

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Well before activists like Harvey Milk and figures like Caitlyn Jenner made waves, there was Sylvia Rivera. The Latina born and raised in New York City had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan roots and a tragic story when she first began to carve out a place for trans people in the American gay liberation movement. Rivera was a self-identified drag queen and transwoman who participated in the Stonewall riots of 1969 and soon after founded Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Marsha P. Johnson. In 1970 she led trans activists in the country’s first Gay Pride march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day March and in the years after she delivered fervent speeches that called for the support of LGBTQ people of color and who were homeless.

Read: Here’s How To Prepare For The ‘March For Our Lives’ Event Happening This Weekend

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Two Survivors Of Mass Shootings That Took Place Just A Few Months Apart From Each Other Sat Down For Breakfast This Weekend

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Two Survivors Of Mass Shootings That Took Place Just A Few Months Apart From Each Other Sat Down For Breakfast This Weekend

Emma Gonzalez and James Shaw Jr. are each other’s heroes. Over the weekend, the two survivors of mass shootings that took place just a few months apart this year sat down for breakfast at a Denny’s in Florida with other students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

On Saturday morning, Gonzalez retweeted a photo of her with Shaw and called their meeting “legendary.”

Only two months after 14 students and three staff members died in the Feb. 14 school shooting at the Parkland, Fla. high school, Shaw found himself wrestling a gun from the hands of a shooter who entered a Nashville area Waffle House and killed three people. Nearly a week after Shaw’s encounter with the shooter, Gonzalez found herself receiving praise from rapper Kanye West, who described the Cuban-American as his “hero” on Twitter. In response to the tweet, she posted a photo of Shaw, referring to him as her hero.

“Meeting the young adults of the Parkland incident so much fire and inspiration in their eyes was a great joy,” Shaw said in a post to his Twitter account after meeting with the students at breakfast on Saturday. “I met one of my heros today.”

Gun violence has turned both Gonzalez and Shaw into fierce activists.

Since the shootings, both survivors have worked to help the families of gun violence victims as well as fight for stricter gun laws.  On March 24, Gonzalez led fellow survivors in a mega-march in Washington, D.C., called March For Our Lives. The activist has since set out to push for the funding of federal gun violence research, a ban on assault weapons and universal background checks. Shaw set up a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $240,000 for the Waffle House shooting victims’ families.

Read: 6 Reasons Why You — Yes, Hermana, You — Should Run For Office

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