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Students form local March for Our Lives chapter

March for our Lives Atlanta chapter meeting to work on gun violence in Atlanta. Photo by Shel Levy | The Signal

Over a year ago, the March For Our Lives movement was established in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students and advocates began to petition legislators to enact stricter gun control in the hopes of preventing other mass shootings and gun violence.

Now, students at Georgia State are banding together to create their own chapter of the organization to quell gun violence happening in the Atlanta community.

The Georgia State students met on Thursday in a study room at the Dwell Apartments to discuss upcoming plans and hone in on what initiatives the organization wants to take for an initial interest meeting.

They were led by Minah Turabi, who previously organized the Augusta March For Our Lives event. She sits as the lead, which is essentially the president of the chapter, with help from Vice Lead Laten Robinson, Treasurer Natalie Rocha, Secretary Kayla Quamina and Marketing Director Julian Pinneda.

The chapter plans to divide into multiple committees, focusing on community outreach, social media, lobbying and fundraising.

According to Robinson, the university’s location makes an excellent spot to stage protests and reach out to the Atlanta community.

“We are a very prime location for a March For Our Lives chapter. I just want to get the ball rolling and get this conversation sparked so students at Georgia State can get involved and other universities like Clark and Spelman and Morehouse [can too],” he said.

He said that the proximity to the Capitol allows them to also join in on other protests organized by other groups. With the creation of a task force specifically to rally students, he added that it’ll be easier to gather as many people as possible.

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“It’s a way for March for Our Lives as a whole to have an inside at the Capitol,” Robinson said. “I’ll send a quick text … and students can just walk up there.”Besides hosting and joining in on protests, Turabi said that students can make a difference through voting.

“That is the only way to spark the change,” she said.

To emphasize the importance of voting, they’re holding a voter registration week from Nov. 18-22 that aims to not only help register individuals to vote but also to educate them about gun violence. 

They plan on meeting up to write letters to legislators, urging them to write stricter gun control legislation, alongside hosting a screening of “Elephant,” a movie based off the events of the Columbine High School massacre.

The organization isn’t currently official, with processes underway to be officially chartered with the university. They’re currently looking to get a faculty adviser to sponsor them, who is waiting to get approval from their department, and from there, it will take roughly six months to become an official Georgia State organization if approved.