LA JOLLA, Calif. — Two students impacted by the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., addressed a crowd in La Jolla Sunday evening.
The Lawrence Family Jewish Center hosted the event as part of its “Community Divided/Humanity United” series.
Brendan Duff and Sofie Whitney survived the deadly shooting that killed 17 of their classmates and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“It was my worst nightmare. It was everyone’s worst nightmare,” Whitney told FOX 5. “We knew there was something we had to do and we needed to create some sort of positive change after something so traumatic.”
Whitney and Duff discussed their experiences after the shooting and their New York Times best-selling book, “Glimmer of Hope.” Whitney and Duff co-authored the book along with 23 other shooting survivors.
The collection of essays describes the launch of March for Our Lives, a student-led movement that calls for stricter gun control measures and an end to mass shootings.
Whitney and Duff said they were on their way to San Diego when they received the news about Friday’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
“It’s horrifying, it’s triggering, it’s emotional,” Duff told FOX 5. “But at the same time it’s something that reminds all of us why we need to act with the urgency that this issue deserves.”
There are now hundreds of March For Our Lives chapters across the country, including one in San Diego. The goal of each chapter is to increase voter registration and raise awareness for gun violence prevention.
“Our generation is really the generation being affected, so we really want to rise above it and be the voices of the movement,” said Carly Shaffer, a San Diego chapter member.
All proceeds from sales of “Glimmer of Hope” will go to the March for Our Lives Fund, which helps organizations work toward ending gun violence across the country.