Local student activists and Parkland shooting survivors will unite as the Road to Change Tour comes to Linn-Mar (Updated)

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Road to Change Town Hall screening

Linn-Mar High School, 3111 10th St, Marion — Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

Students from City High and Southeast Junior high move their rally to the Pedestrian Mall. Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

Update: On Thursday, the Road to Change tour organizers announced a new location for the youth meetup originally scheduled for Noelridge Park, but cancelled due to concerns about the weather. The two-hour event will now take place at RAYGUN (1028 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids) starting at 1 p.m.

The March for Our Lives movement, started by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida to push for political action on gun violence, has launched a national bus tour, the Road to Change, which will include a town hall-style meeting at Linn-Mar High School on Thursday night.

Plans originally called for a stop in Cedar Rapids as well for a “youth meetup” at Noelridge Park, but on Wednesday organizers announced the event was cancelled because weather forecasts call for thunderstorms.

Kevin Drahos, who will be a senior at Linn-Mar in the fall, told Little Village the national group collaborated with local student activists on the Linn-Mar tour stop.

“I have been working with Town Hall Project and the Parkland Students, specifically Jaclyn Corin, to set the Thursday event up,” Drahos said in an email. “We worked together to figure out the town hall details and plan an agenda for the night.”

Drahos was politically active even before the Parkland shooting, and helped organize the Linn-Mar student walkout to protest gun violence in April. Since then, he has been working with students from all over Linn County to create an activist organization similar to the Iowa City-area Students Against School Shooting.

“The group has already started to form,” Drahos said.

Walkout to protest gun violence at Linn-Mar High School, Feb. 26, 2018. — photo by Zoey Marciniak

Local students activists and gun violence survivors will speak at the Thursday night meeting, along with Parkland students on the tour, according to Drahos.

“We have asked others groups like Moms Demand Action and The League of Woman Voters to participate and attend the event,” he added.

The first Iowa stop for the Road to Change Tour was on Wednesday in Sioux City, where the group held a candlelight vigil outside Rep. Steve King’s district office.

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