Oprah Winfrey stepped into the philanthropy box Tuesday, joining George and Amal Clooney, in also committing a $500,000 donation and general pledge of support for March for Our Lives in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety. The event is being organized by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Both Clooneys will also participate in the Washington, DC demonstration on March 24, being organized by the surviving students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School . . . Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we're donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children's lives depend on it."
The March for Our Lives is organized by Stoneman Douglas students Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Alex Wind, and Jaclyn Corin, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety. “I'm just a high school student,” Kasky wrote in a recent op-ed, “and I do not pretend to have all of the answers. However, even in my position, I can see that there is desperate need for change—change that starts by folks showing up to the polls and voting all those individuals who are in the back pockets of gun lobbyists out of office.”
The articulate voices of the students have overwhelmed open-minded adults across America. On Twitter, Winfrey compared the Stoneman Douglas student organizers Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Alex Wind, and Jaclyn Corin to the Freedom Riders of the 1960s who “also said we’ve had enough and our voices will be heard.”
Two more Hollywood couples joined the Clooneys and Oprah in matching their donations. Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn were joined by Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg in also supporting the initiative.
“The young students in Florida and now across the country are already demonstrating their leadership with a confidence and maturity that belies their ages," said Spielberg via his representative, Marvin Levy. "Kate (Capshaw) and I applaud their efforts to take a stand for the benefit of this and future generations. They are an inspiration to us all, and we are joining in this movement with a donation of $500,000.”
In a statement sent by representative Rachel Peterson, Katzenberg said, “(My wife) Marilyn and I are proud to stand with the brave young leaders from Parkland, Fla., who have taken their pain and grief and turned it into action. We will join Amal and George Clooney on March 24 to stand alongside these remarkable young people. We are also donating $500,000 to March for Our Lives to support this historic event.”