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Ellen DeGeneres joined the March for Our Lives movement Friday as she brought three survivors of the Stoneman Douglass High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, on her show to share their stories.
DeGeneres partnered with Shutterfly, an organization that helps students in schools, to donate $50,000 towards the gun violence protest.
The deadly mass shooting which took the lives of 17 victims sparked a student outcry on guns with students Emma Gonzalez, 18 Cameron Kasky, 17 and Jaclyn Corin, 17, leading the way.
Each of them was personally affected by the shooting losing close friends and teachers as a result. Kasky spoke about what inspired the students to become activists and start a march for gun reform.
“The thing that inspired us to create the March was people saying ‘You are all talking about gun control and this is not the time to talk about gun control this is the time to grieve,” Kasky said. “We understand that and now might not be the time to talk about gun control. Here’s the time to talk about gun control, March 24th.”
“It’s amazing the universal support we’ve gotten. It’s proof that this isn’t red and blue, this isn’t generation versus generation—this is the 97 percent of people who believe we need to take steps here together.” Kasky added.
Gonzalez shared the story of her moving “We Call BS” speech that at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale that went viral with DeGeneres on the show.
“I knew I would get my job done properly at that rally if I got people chanting something. And I thought ‘We Call BS’ has four syllables, that’s good, I’ll use that.” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t want to say the actual curse words… this message doesn’t need to be thought of in a negative way at all.”
The comedian commended the students for taking a stand and using their voices to create change within their community and the country.
“You are grieving but you’re also using your activism and your voices which is so important for young people to do,” DeGeneres said. “The fact that these young people are taking such a stand, coming out of being in that situation and taking your energy and that’s how you’re coping with it. It is the best thing you could possibly be doing.”
The March for Our Lives demonstration will take place on March 24, in Washington D.C. DeGeneres joins Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney who have all pledged to support the cause.