On Friday, June 8th, the Launch community made their voices heard. At 10:30am, 100+ 7th and 8th grade scholars put their pencils down, grabbed their anti gun violence signs, lined up single file, and took to the streets.

200 members of the Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant community, led by Launch 7th grade students and draped in orange marched in our 2nd annual #walkouttoendgunviolence as the culminating event of their recent learning expedition. Launch Charter School and Expeditionary Learning 7th graders have been studying how to address gun violence in their community and today they put that learning into action. Today’s march contributes to a better world – an important part of Launch’s mission. The 7th and 8th graders were prepped by the local anti gun violence project Save Our Streets (S.O.S). S.O.S prepped the group by warming up with chants, by giving out orange wristbands and by setting the tone for the walkout/march. This is S.O.S’s second year collaborating with the Launch staff and students.

Launch students led the march, followed by community members from Launch Charter School, to Restoration Plaza. They marched through Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy while chanting and spreading a message of nonviolence. Students chanted messages such as, “Children or Guns”, “Guns Down, Life Up” and “Save Our Streets” while navigating through the Brooklyn streets. The group stopped occasionally to invite onlookers to join the march, to engage passerbys with their message, and to show all onlookers the signs that were strategically crafted. Once the group reached the Restoration amphitheater, a crowd gathered to engage in more activities.

The organizers engaged the crowd through activities such as the opening ceremony (which was conducted by the student body president), spoken word pieces by 7th graders, a message of thanks by the Save Our Streets Program manager David Gaskins and a dance routine. After the student led activities, the group (which had grown larger) was led back to Launch Charter School by the Save Our Streets Outreach Team, while chanting and by showing their anti gun violence signs.

You can read more about the event here. https://www.amny.com/news/gun-violence-brooklyn-1.19059310