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Steps toward a better tomorrow: Adolescents take to B’Bridge in march against sexual harassment, gun violence - Brooklyn Paper

Steps toward a better tomorrow: Adolescents take to B’Bridge in march against sexual harassment, gun violence

Leading the way: About 200 teens marched over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to take a stand against violence affecting youth.
Photo by Jason Speakman

These teens took a stand by striding across the borough’s namesake span.

Hundreds of teenagers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to show support for activists demanding social reforms nationwide. The impassioned youngsters rallied to lend their voices to the March For Our Lives, #MeToo, and #TimesUp movements against gun violence and sexual harassment, inspiring fellow participants with their vision for a more equitable tomorrow, according to an adult who walked alongside them.

“If we don’t back our youth, what is our future going to look like? They’re our doctors, senators, congressmen,” said Bedford-Stuyvesant resident Alton Cumbo. “I’m very proud to stand side by side with these young people marching and speaking out.”

The adolescents’ journey began Downtown at Cadman Plaza and Tillary Street, where entertainers including singers Kat Capone and Lavender Gonzalez rallied the crowd before speakers shared stories about personal traumatic experiences with the audience.

The group then processed across the bridge, with some holding hands and others waving signs proclaiming “Don’t suffer in silence” and “Love not abuse. Speak up!” on their journey to the distant isle of Manhattan as part of the seventh-annual walk-a-thon staged by a local organization that aids abuse victims.

And this year’s event, which unfolded roughly a month after teens walked out of classrooms across the borough as part of a national call for gun-law reform, came as young people are taking increasingly active roles in demanding radical social change, according to an organizer.

“Now is the time to shatter the wall of darkness that has shrouded the issues of teen dating violence, domestic abuse, and gun violence, and bring to light real solutions,” said Antonia Clemente, who works for The Healing Center, which is based in Brooklyn.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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