Four students who survived the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February have received an international peace prize for their activism against gun violence.
David Hogg, Emma González, Jaclyn Corin and Matt Deitsch on Tuesday received the 2018 International Children’s Peace Prize in a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu presented the prize, which was founded by youth advocacy organization KidsRights.
“The peaceful campaign to demand safe schools and communities and the eradication of gun violence is reminiscent of other great peace movements in history,” Tutu said during the ceremony, according to a release.
The Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and ignited a wave of student demonstrations across the country against gun violence. Hogg, González, Corin, Deitsch and other students founded March for Our Lives and emerged as prominent voices in the campaign for stricter gun laws.
“I am in awe of these children, whose powerful message is amplified by their youthful energy and an unshakable belief that children can, no must, improve their own futures,” Tutu said. “They are true changemakers who have demonstrated most powerfully that children can move the world.”
March for Our Lives celebrated on Twitter, writing: “This award is for everyone that has supported us, marched with us, and organized with us. This is only the beginning of our global movement.”
Hogg also shared a powerful message on Twitter:
Among the ceremony’s guests was Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was killed in the shooting.
Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his activism against South African apartheid. He serves as the patron of KidsRights. Malala Yousafzai received the peace prize in 2013 for her advocacy for children’s education.