Recently, the Never Again Movement has dominated headlines and social media as politicians and student leaders throughout the country campaign for gun safety and reform. One of these student leaders is sophomore Doran Walters, who organized a walkout at Casady School to honor the Parkland victims, and acted as a leader in the larger Oklahoma City March for Our Lives on March 24. I spoke with Doran to learn more about why she decided to become involved in the movement.
Q: What inspired you to arrange the walkout at school and why does this issue resonate with you? Was the walkout successful?
A: I’ve been passionate about gun reform for a long time. I wanted to do more than tweet about it. I was already working on the march. I saw that no one was organizing a walkout at Casady yet. I wanted to do it. Even though the walkout at Casady was not about gun reform, I still felt it was important for Casady students to take a stand and say “Enough is enough.”
Q: How did you become involved in the Oklahoma City March For Our Lives? Was the march successful?
A: I became involved in the OKC March For Our Lives very soon after DC march was announced. I wanted to help. Originally I was going to create my own but I saw that one already existed, so I DMed the girl who created it. I suggested we create a group chat with all the leaders. We planned the march there. We broke ourselves down into smaller groups each focusing on something specific. I was on the press team so I did several interviews and contacted lots of news station. On March 24, at least 4,000 people showed up to the March For Our Lives in OKC. It was amazing. I spoke in front of thousands of people. I felt it was a success and our voices were heard. However, nothing will happen if we stop now; we must keep fighting for anything to happen.
Q: Why do you think it is important for Casady students to be involved in the conversation about gun control? Why do you think youth activism is important in general?
A: I think it’s very important for Casady students to be involved in the conversation because people will listen to us. Casady students are extremely privileged and can use that privilege to promote change. Use your privilege to support other student activists. Student activism is extremely important. Almost all big movements have started with a youth activism. We are the future. But we are also the present and we are going to make change. Youth activism is vital to change.
Q: What can Casady students do to continue to fight for gun safety?
A: To help in this fight Casady students can call or write to their representatives or even meet with them. You can also just stay active. Join students demand action. Sign up to be notified when bills are being signed. I think everytown has a text notification system. Keep fighting. Don’t let anyone silence you. Follow the student leaders from the movement. But the biggest thing you can do is vote if you can. Don’t stop fighting.
The Casady community is fortunate to have as proactive and passionate a student as Doran Walters. We can all learn from her drive to take action for something we believe in, and to better the world around us. If you would like to learn more ways to become involved, contact Doran Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org).