Thousands across the country — and here in Michigan — are participating in simultaneous walkouts on Wednesday to protest gun violence and commemorate the one-month anniversary of the Valentine's Day shooting at a Florida high school. 

Organizers said there are 2,853 walkouts planned nationally as of Tuesday, including more than 80 in Michigan. However, there are many other schools that are organizing their own walkouts, not through the Women's March Empower Group campaign

The campaign urges teachers and students to participate at 10 a.m. and walk out of their school for 17 minutes — one for every person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“This is a day for students to have a voice and be represented. This will further amplify students’ commitment to action until Congress enacts legislative change," Women's March Empower Group said in a statement. 

Colleges participating include: Central Michigan University, Detroit's College for Creative Studies, Macomb Community College, University of Michigan-Dearborn and Alma College. 

Alondra Alvarez, a senior at Western International High School in Detroit and a member of the Women's March Youth Empowerment group, is one of the 13 student leaders of the march and said she hopes the movement enacts change. 

"...We need to bring awareness to the gun violence issue," said Alvarez, 17.  "There’s always shootings everywhere. It became the norm but when I learned more about it, it’s not the norm. We hope we can bring awareness and push Congress to do something with gun control to make sure we’re all safe in Detroit or Parkland."

Read more: 

Detroit student helps lead national gun violence protests

How schools plan to ensure safety during walkouts

Grosse Pointe North ‘watered down’ walkout

Source: Women's March Empower Group


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