In the wake of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students, parents and others in the community have united to enact change and promote healing. Organizations that formed in the aftermath included Shine MSD and Change The Ref.
Now, Shine MSD and Change The Ref are uniting to continue to make their voices heard. In a Sept. 30 event, they partner with equality company The Female Quotient to host fundraising event Actions For Change Food And Music Festival. Actress Alyssa Milano kicks off the event, which features performances from several artists, food from more than 30 chefs and art from Manuel Oliver, father of Parkland victim Joaquin Oliver.
“We can never take back the events of that day, but our hope is that by mobilizing the next generation, no other community will experience what we have gone through,” said Doug Zeif, parent of Parkland survivors Sam and Matthew Zeif and organizer for Action For Change. “This Action For Change event is just our way of creating purpose out of pain. We felt like we had to do something and trying to soothe this community felt like the right thing to do. Doing “nothing” was not an option.”
The event features the debut of Shine MSD’s new album “Wake Up America,” written by the students to raise awareness about gun safety, spearheaded by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. The full album will be released the same day and will be available on Spotify.
Other musicians will perform throughout the event, including Michael Franti & Spearhead, Nahko, Carrie Manolakos, Skip Marley, and Friends of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary.
“The power of art to heal is undeniable. Art gives a person the ability to express feelings that are too often buried until the feelings surface as depression or anger. By providing art as an outlet, we allow the students to confront these feeling and help resolve them,” said Joe Garrity, President of Shine MSD. “We are excited to eat great food and share new student songs with our friends. It’s what Shine MSD is all about, art, music, and unity.”
Chefs who will participate include Suzanne Goin of Los Angeles, Marc Vetri of Philadelphia, Bradley Kilgore of Miami, Kimberly Lallouz of Montreal, Michael Kornick of Chicago and others. In addition, Manuel Oliver will do live painting of a “Wall of Demand.” The festival will close with a cast performance of “Shine” the song chosen by Concerts Across America to End Gun Violence as the one song for peace performed across the county at each of their events.
“Patricia and I are looking forward to this special evening and bringing our community together. Our organization is dedicated to empowering the young people who are out their fighting for change,” said Oliver. “We know our son “Gauc” would be right there with them. We believe that the best way to convince people to make change is to impact them.”
Actions for Change Food and Music Festival Fundraiser
- When: Sept. 30, 5-10 p.m.
- Where: Pine Trails Park, Parkland
- Admission: $45 (Donor under 18); $150 (Adult Donor Admission); $295 (Super Donor)
- Info: For information sponsorship opportunities, call 888.488.1116. For tickets, visit actionsforchange.com