A teen from South Los Angeles who misplaced her brother to gun violence commanded the March for Our Lives stage in Washington, D.C., on Saturday with a transferring speech in regards to the trauma survivors face and the pressing want for change.

“I’m a survivor,” Edna Lizbeth Chavez, a 17-year-old scholar at Guide Arts Excessive Faculty, instructed the group. “I’ve lived in South L.A. my whole life and have misplaced many family members to gun violence. That is regular. Regular to the purpose that I’ve realized to duck from bullets earlier than I realized easy methods to learn.”

Chavez revealed that her brother, Ricardo, was killed by a bullet when he was in highschool, a violent act that completely modified her whole household. 

“I additionally misplaced my mom, my sister and myself to that trauma and that anxiousness,” she mentioned. “If the bullet didn’t kill me, that anxiousness and that trauma will. I carry that trauma in every single place I am going.”

Edna Chavez spoke at the March For Our Lives rally in D.C. about gun violence and the urgent need for change.

Edna Chavez spoke on the March For Our Lives rally in D.C. about gun violence and the pressing want for change.

The teenager, who is an activist and youth leader in Los Angeles, spoke passionately in regards to the needn’t just for gun regulation reform but additionally for drastic cultural change in faculties. She emphasised that extra weapons and more police on campuses is not the answer, noting that cops in faculties usually tend to “profile and criminalize” black and brown college students than to make them really feel secure.

“Arming academics won’t work,” Chavez mentioned. “Extra safety in our faculties doesn’t work. Zero tolerance insurance policies don’t work. They make us really feel like criminals. We must always really feel empowered and supported in our faculties.”

You may watch Chavez’s speech in full above. 

  • This text initially appeared on HuffPost.

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