March for Our Lives NYC

This past weekend people around the world marched in solidarity with Americans seeking stronger gun control regulations in the United States after numerous mass tragedies in recent years. I was privileged to participate in and document the March for Our Lives here in New York City, and I was struck by a variety of thoughts during the march. First, I was struck with how little progress has been made in reforming gun laws in the almost 20 years since the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. I reflected on the many people who have been killed, as well as those whose lives have been forever changed, as a result of gun violence. But, importantly, this march also gave me a new sense of hope. The march was led by young people of all different backgrounds and experiences, and I could see the future in their eyes. As they grow old enough, they are registering to vote, and I believe that their efforts will eventually lead to long-term change.

Here are several photos to give you a sense of the spirit of Saturday’s march. I’ve focused mostly on the high school students at the march, although I’ve also included photos of those parents, teachers, and other adults marching with them.

I look forward to seeing what these teenagers do in the future!

New Yorkers Rallying in Solidarity with Their Neighbors

Our new president’s policies towards immigrants has been troubling for many New Yorkers. After all, the United States is a nation of immigrants – and nowhere is that more evident than New York City. In the past month, there have been numerous rallies and marches in the city in protest against those policies. Last weekend, there was a solidarity rally in support of our Muslim neighbors, coworkers, and friends. Called I Am a Muslim Too, the rally brought together people of every race, religion, and background.

There was such a positive spirit at the rally, which took place in the streets near Times Square. I took these photos at the event, and I think they capture some of its rich diversity.

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May I just say that this rally, like the other rallies and marches I’ve attended in New York City, was such a positive, inspiring experience. New York City values its citizens’ First Amendment free speech rights, and officials regularly give out permits for rallies and other forms of protest. The mayor and several city council members actually spoke at the I Am a Muslim Too rally, emphasizing the message that this is a city that welcomes all.