CHICAGO (CBS) — Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida are in Chicago for the first stop of their national bus tour.
The Summer of Peace rally kicks off at Saint Sabina Parish in the 1200 block of West 78th Place.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports St. Sabina Parish has sponsored the rally for ten years, preaching the message that the violence needs to end.
The voices of the Parkland school shooting survivors are helping shine a national spotlight on their cries for change.
15-year-old Rieonna Holmon from Chicago’s South side was riding the bus to school when she encountered an incident she says has traumatized her.
“We started hearing gunshots and we went to the floor because the bullets were that close,” she recalled. “It gets me nervous and I start to shake.”
In a city where children confront violence daily, St. Sabina Parish has sponsored a summer anti-violence march. While the march has been an annual tradition for years, the rally is starting to attract national attention.
“Nobody listened. Nobody really cared,” stated Amani Johnson of West Pullman. “People are starting to care now. That’s all that matters.”
There have been rallies that are changing the country’s anti-violence movement, including the Washington March for our Lives in March 2018.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Disturbance Brings Chance Of Rain-Snow Mix To Our North Overnight
During that march, Parkland shooting survivor stated, “In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us.”
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that survived a mass school shooting in Parkland Florida launched a road tour to combat gun violence.
The anti-gun violence road tour will travel to 20 states stopping at 50 locations to continue their movement, kicking off in Chicago.
“People are saying the Stoneman Douglas students are so courageous,” said Cameron Kasky, a Parkland survivor, saying his new voice means nothing without helping others join in the call for change.
“That’s why we are in Chicago. That’s why we are at the peace march. We are standing as a megaphone for the Chicago kids to say ‘We will be heard now,’” Kasky said.
Amani Johnson of West Pullman agreed, stating, “It’s taken too long, but better late than never.”
Friday’s big rally will have some big-name performers including Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Giffords was a victim of gun violence, but says the real draw are the voices of teams from Chicago and Florida demanding world change.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole and Audrina Bigos contributed to this report.