We Must Listen

WE MUST LISTEN

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES

By Mino Lora; Photos by EAbreuVisuals

Manhattan Times March 28, 2018

I am a firm believer in the power of young people.

They teach me and inspire me every single day; it is clear to me that their compassion, creativity and commitment is unmatchable.

The March for Our Lives was the largest nationwide protest in this country demanding gun reform.  There are estimates of one million people marching in Washington and hundreds of thousands in towns and cities across the country. This in and of itself is a huge accomplishment, but what makes this movement even more special is that young people are leading. Many of the organizers are students from Parkland, Florida, who were survivors of the school massacre from February 14th. These brave young people took their pain, fear and anger and turned it into action.  And in this quest, they inspired us all.

It’s been almost 10 years since I co-founded People’s Theatre Project (PTP).  At PTP we strive to create places of power for young people to lead. We do this by educating them around the social inequities that impact their lives and inspiring them to become cultural organizers who create theater for social change.

For the last 9 years, thousands of young people at PTP, many Dominican immigrants like myself, have created over 100 bilingual and multidisciplinary pieces of theatre around issues such as immigration reform, racism, housing, discrimination and the environment. We see theatre as a joyful resistance as well as a welcome entry point to civic action that encourages our kids to engage in action.

This past weekend, this fervor was brought center stage as I went down to the #MarchForOurLives not only with my own two children ages 1.5 and 4, but with over 40 of our PTP young artists and their families; most of them new immigrants who were marching for the first time.

We created signs, we sang and chanted and we marched down Central Park West. And after that, we came back uptown to get right into the rehearsal room and turn this energy into scenes, dances and songs for our upcoming We The People Festival in June.  It was a day full of joy, energy and love.

When children and young people speak, we must listen. And I am so inspired by what the #MarchForOurLives is doing and excited for our local youth to be a part of it.

Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Pa’lante!

 

Read the full article Here.