Black gun violence prevention activists pull up on the steps of the Supreme Court

Over 100,000 people are shot or killed every year by and the majority are Black or Brown. This public health crisis has spiraled out of control, and we need leaders from the Supreme Court [on] down to step up and establish solution to end gun violence. I have lost many friends, neighbors and family members to this vicious cycle. Enough is enough.”

Greg Jackson, National Advocacy Director for Community Justice Action Fund.
Dante Barry, Co-Director of Million Hoodies and staunch gun violence prevention activist, makes an appearance at the rally. / Photo credit: Cirilo Manego III with Black With No Chaser

The Supreme Court spent over an hour hearing oral arguments on a New York City gun regulation dispute that would determine the scope of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. After taking nearly a decade hiatus, the Supreme Court is left split and are no further in clearing the air on this issue. Meanwhile, gun violence prevention organizations stormed the steps of the Supreme Court while oral arguments took place. Still, black and brown communities continue to be woefully underrepresented at these rallies.

Greg Jackson, National Advocacy Director for CJAF, emcees the rally. / Photo credit: Cirilo Manego III with Black With No Chaser

Although the overwhelming majority of gun homicide victims are Black and Brown people, our faces are constantly cut off and voices drowned out by mainstream media’s anti-black agenda. Today, however, more than half of the speakers, including the emcee, were Black people. And rightfully so. Many of them living outside of the beltway sharing heartening and traumatic stories with a sea of people that did not look like them. Zion Kelly, a native Washingtonian and second year business student at Florida A & University, took to the stage. Afterwards, we caught up with him to get his thoughts on growing up in the Ward 5 and the affect gun violence has had on him and his community. “Gun violence has impacted my family for generations,” said Kelly on why he is all in on this fight. He went on to say, “It [gun violence] has impacted me, personally, when I lost my twin brother.”

Zion Kelly, Native Washingtonian and second year student at Florida A & M University /
Cirilo Manego III with Black With No Chaser

Community Justice Action Fund in partnership with Moms Demand Action, Everytown For Gun Safety, Brady Campaign, and Gays Against Guns organized this day of action. Hundreds of people descended upon the steps of the Supreme Court to let their voices be heard, weathering chilling rain for over two hours. Some organizers began the day at 5:45am this morning. It was evident from the energy that these activists are here to fight and let the nation know: #GunLawsSaveLives.

Photo credit: Cirilo Manego III with Black With No Chaser

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cirilo Manego III loves ramen and is quest to eat at every known ramen spot in Washington, D.C. While he’s not doing that, he’s likely somewhere flourishing. He’s a proud uncle of 13 nieces and nephews and dog owner. Native New Orleanian. Caters for fun @tumpetastings. When none of that is happening, he is political consultant to the stars. #StayBlack

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