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David Hogg Delivers 2024 Social Justice Day Keynote

CSW was honored to welcome David Hogg to campus to deliver the keynote address at our 2024 Michael H. Feldman ’67 Social Justice Day. This year’s topic, as voted on by the CSW student body, was Gun Violence and Legislation.
 
A survivor of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, David is the Co-Founder of March For Our Lives and Leaders We Deserve, as well as a New York Times best-selling author. In his address to the community, David briefly recounted his memory of the Parkland school shooting before transitioning into his origin story as an activist. In the days and weeks after the shooting, David shared that he often felt powerless, but refused to let the talking heads of the media speak for himself and his classmates. Together, they quickly became the faces of youth activism against gun violence, appearing on television and organizing a trip to Florida’s state capital to meet with legislators and demand change. They would eventually go on to found March for Our Lives, and lead one of the largest youth protests in the United States since the Vietnam era. 

Though he has been able to make great strides as an activist, David told students that the journey has been far from easy, and that being a youth activist, in particular, has come with its own unique challenges. Young people trying to make a difference can expect to face doubt, put-downs, and even ridicule from older generations who believe they know more, he said, and the only reason he and his fellow activists have been able to defy the naysayers is because they have had hope. 

“Because we had the audacity to hope, we were able to make change,” David shared, telling students, “you have the power to challenge the status quo.” 

He also emphasized that young people have one critical and highly powerful asset that the generations ahead of them do not, and that asset is time. He encouraged students to make the most of the time given to them, even if it means taking very small steps towards a larger goal. 

After David’s remarks, community members had the chance to ask questions like, “Do you believe meaningful change is possible within our current governmental structure?” and “How do you respond in the moment when people try to shut you down?”

The rest of the day was dedicated to group workshops led by special guests. Workshops offered included “American Gun Rights Under the Second Amendment,” “Advocating & Testimony Writing,” and “Gun Safety Legislation in Massachusetts.” Full workshop descriptions and speaker bios from the series are available on the CSW Social Justice Day Landing Page

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The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.