Tomorrow, students will lead an extraordinary protest against gun violence and for improved gun safety, a March For Our Lives through the streets of Washington, D.C. and hundreds of other communities across the world. This youth community, marshaled in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Florida, will demand solutions to end the scourge of gun violence and school shootings in America.
Viacom proudly supports these students. On the streets, on the airwaves, on social media and on mobile devices and on every platform that its brands reach, Viacom will amplify these students’ message and their voice, will stand with them as they speak up to unambiguously state that their lives and their safety matter.
— Viacom (@Viacom) March 23, 2018
Viacom’s wide-ranging support for this student-led movement began in earnest last Wednesday, March 14, when all Viacom networks went dark for the 17 minutes of the National School Walkout, a mass coordinated effort to denounce the inaction and indifference that have accompanied the stubborn persistence of gun violence.
Here’s a deeper look at how Viacom’s brands will be supporting the March For Our Lives:
Seventeen people lost their lives in the Parkland shooting. More than 17 young people die* from gun violence every day in America.
On Saturday, MTV, in partnership with the NAACP and local youth organizations, will send 17 buses of young people from Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and other communities suffering from intractable gun violence. The network will complement this on-the-streets effort with live MTV News and Social coverage.
MTV will have plenty of help to bolster the message: singer-songwriter Vic Mensa will take control of the network’s Instagram Stories account, while Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Pusha T, Halsey, Carmelo Anthony and Chloe x Halle will deliver messages of support and encouragement to the marchers.
“Once again young people are at the forefront of driving change,” said Chris McCarthy, President of MTV. Referring to a national network-led study** conducted post-Parkland to analyze teen’s reactions to gun violence, McCarthy continued, “Today’s study revealed an overwhelming 75 percent of teens polled are ‘not going to wait until they are adults to make real political change,’ and MTV is proud to amplify this youth-led activism.”
The MTV study also revealed that 69 percent of teenagers are angry that the government isn’t doing enough to prevent gun violence, and 74 percent believe adults are underestimating young people’s political power.
The main players in Comedy Central’s bustling late-night universe have been demonstrating their support for the students from a variety of different angles. Last night, Comedy Central’s The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper traveled to Maryland to host U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), before an audience of teens, many of whom plan to march tomorrow.
“Change has never in history come from Washington,” Booker said, “it has come to Washington.”
The Opposition Chaperones Democracy: Kids Just Wanna Take Guns also transported viewers into a Baltimore high school, where correspondent Kobi Libii interviewed students who are frustrated and fed up with local gun violence:
Earlier today, Comedy Central released a clip of Trevor Noah discussing the march and the shooting’s aftermath with five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the Parkland shooting occurred.
When The Jim Jefferies Show returns to Comedy Central next Tuesday, the show will broadcast a segment filmed on the ground at the San Diego March For Our Lives rally. Jefferies, who is entering his second season hosting the show, is a long-time champion of reforms to curb gun violence.
— Teachers (@TeachersSeries) March 24, 2018
*On average, 19.4 young people aged 24 and under die by gun violence every day. Source – Everytown analysis: CDC Fatal Injury Reports (WISQARS), data for 2012-2016.
**MTV’s “Teens React: Gun Violence and Youth Activism” is a nationally representative survey of 500 teens, aged 14-17 between March 7-12, 2018