OXFORD, Mich. – In the year since the tragedy at Oxford High School, students have been leaning on each other to navigate their experience as survivors.
Some Oxford students have come together to turn their pain into advocacy, creating a group called No Future Without Today.
Like every student who was at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021, senior Dylan Morris is forever changed. While living the ordinary life of a student -- playing in the orchestra and sending out college applications -- Morris is also balancing the extraordinary: He has teamed up with fellow students to start a nonprofit to advocate for gun violence prevention.
“There were a lot of different ideas of how we should go about this, especially coming from a perspective after the shooting when things are so tough. Trying to come up with how to create such an organization was tough [while] going through mental turmoil, healing, going through grief,” Morris said. “So, alongside co-founders Maddie Johnson, she was a friend of Madisyn Baldwin, and Riena St. Juliana, sister to Hana St. Juliana, we came up with the idea of No Future Without Today.”
The group launched in June with a 600-person strong march in Oxford, pushing for common sense gun laws, safe gun storage, red flag laws and quality mental health care access.
“And also making sure that kids are not falling through the cracks at school,” Morris said. “So making sure that we’re implementing social-emotional learning into school curriculum, making sure that instruction is trauma-informed.”
Nonprofit members also met with families from the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Washington, D.C. this fall to rally for an end to gun violence. The group is now planning to turn their attention to lobbying the new Michigan Legislature in January, and hopes to pass some meaningful laws.
“The moment the shooter gained access to the unlocked firearm and decided to use it in that hallway was the moment that we lost our childhoods,” Morris said.
Morris says he hopes to expand No Future Without Today to other schools across the state so they can advocate for gun violence prevention together.