Three students who attend or graduated from metro Atlanta high schools are among the 14 student leaders chosen for the Giffords Courage Fellowship, a national program helping empower young advocates to create change regarding the United States’ gun laws in light of school shootings happening each year.
The fellowship was co-founded last year by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Arizona, who was shot but survived a 2011 mass shooting in which six individuals died and 19 were injured, and her husband, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.
The local students selected are Atlanta native Tanvi Reddy, a Woodward Academy graduate who attends George Washington University in Washington; Douglasville native Anam Hussain, a Douglas County High graduate who goes to American University in Washington; and Roswell resident Ethan Asher, a rising senior at Centennial High.
Asher was chosen as a senior fellow, a leader from the previous year’s Courage Fellow cohort who will assist the 2019 class with their efforts.
Reddy has extensive experience meeting with members of Congress to advocate for gun safety legislation through her work with the March for Our Lives and Team Enough lobbying collective in Washington. She has become the collective’s official lobbying coordinator and is organizing young people to educate and lobby for gun reform.
Back home in Georgia, Reddy co-founded an Activism Club at her high school, where she organized meetings to foster political dialogue and directed the planning of her school walkout to protest gun violence. This summer, she is interning for District 6 U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, as a legislative intern focusing on gun violence prevention.
Asher is the co-founder and executive director for the March for Our Lives Georgia. His hard work with the march was recognized with a Diller Tikkun Olam Award. He is also the founder and director of the Hate Free America Coalition, which aims to bring together faith leaders, law enforcement and politicians to prevent and respond to hate crimes.
Ethan also has introduced legislation in the Georgia Legislature to create a joint committee to study the intersection of mental health and gun violence.
Hussain organized her high school’s walkout on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. She previously interned for Giffords-endorsed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and currently serves on the state board for March for Our Lives Georgia.
“Young Americans aren’t sitting on the sidelines – they are standing up and declaring that gun safety is a fight their generation will win,” Giffords said in a news release. “From coast to coast, these leaders have made a difference in their communities and across the country. (These students) know that if we want to stop the shootings in our schools and neighborhoods, we must act. We’re thrilled to work with (them) and welcome them to this inspiring group of advocates from all across America. This group of young people will come together to find solutions and make a lasting impact.”
The fellowship will place participants in the heart of the gun violence prevention discussion. Courage Fellows will take part in a number of activities in Washington, including two three-day trainings and a lobbying day on Capitol Hill. In between fly-ins, Fellows will be given the resources to complete their own engagement project in which they will promote gun violence prevention in their local communities.
For more information, visit www.giffords.org.