Over 600 people came out for the first March With Oxford last June. This year’s event will start at Centennial Park at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
(Photo / No Future Without Tomorrow)
Olivia McMillan is glad Michigan has taken steps to increase gun safety, but says there is still not a feeling of security at Oxford High School.
Legislation for safe storage of firearms around minors; universal background checks on the sale of all guns in the state; and implementing extreme risk protection orders, otherwise known as red flag laws, have been signed into law this year by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“The group is proud of what we have done, but for me, it is bittersweet that we were forced into the position that we have to go and speak to representatives and go march at events to get results,” said McMillan, who graduated from Oxford in 2022.
No Future Without Today, the student-led non-profit advocacy group that McMillan has been a part of since its start, will be marching again this weekend at the 2nd March With Oxford set for this Saturday in Centennial Park.
“When I was there it was almost like the school board brushed it over to make it look like we felt safer to the public eye, but even now I don’t think anyone in the schools feels safer,” she said. “Some progress has been made, but not to the point where you feel 100% safer.”
No Future Without Today was among several groups that made trips to Lansing over the last year to testify in support of enhanced gun safety laws in Michigan.
Those efforts paid off during the first six months of this year.
The new laws come in the wake of the mass shootings at Oxford high school in November 2021 and at Michigan State University in February.
Jada Knight was homeschooled, but joined No Future Without Today in August 2022 and is grateful for the new measures, but knows more action is needed.
“It has actually brought us hope for everything that has taken place at the legislative level,” she said. “The action out of the legislature also underlines the need to take action before more tragedies happen.”
Knight also understands the significance of what the event means in Oxford.
“Our march in Oxford is the only one that is completely student and youth-led and I think that is really powerful to show our leaders that they need to take action,” said Knight. “But also the need for young people to have that chance to recognize those they have lost and their friends.”
The march is also a sister event to the 16th annual Silence The Violence event hosted by the Church of the Messiah in Detroit the same afternoon. The Oxford based group is working in collaboration with March for Our Lives Michigan, End Gun Violence Michigan and Moms Demand Action on the event.
There will be sign making and tabling with different organizations such as Be SMART, along with voter registration starting at 11:30 a.m.
After speeches from students, parents and advocates, there will be a march from the park to the high school.
No Future Without Today was formed as a 501(c)(4) in June 2022 with Oxford graduate Dylan Morris as executive director.