During his opening monologue at the 90th Academy Awards show on Sunday night, host Jimmy Kimmel shouted out the various social movements that have dominated this awards season. In addition to #MeToo and #TimesUp, Kimmel mentioned a new movement that is less than a month old — #NeverAgain.
The #NeverAgain campaign was started by survivors of the Parkland shooting, where a gunman shot and killed 17 teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month. In the wake of the attack, a group of students has lobbied aggressively for stronger gun legislation, planning demonstrations and holding lawmakers accountable for addressing gun violence in the United States. Their rallying cry? #NeverAgain.
Specifically, Kimmel talked about the March For Our Lives, a rally set for March 24. The march will take place in Washington D.C. and every major city in the United States, and is aimed at preventing future mass shootings by installing stronger gun legislation.
“We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students,” reads the group’s mission statement.
That Kimmel paid lip service to #NeverAgain at such a high profile event is a testament to the staying power of the nascent movement. By keeping their advocacy in the public eye, the Parkland survivors seem to have broken the predictable cycle that followed many mass shootings over the past few years: Sadness, outrage, and zero legislative action.
It’s become clear over the past few weeks that the Parkland students are determined to break that cycle. And given the widespread media attention that comes with an event like the Oscars, the Parkland students may succeed, and finally replace thoughts and prayers with tangible action.