Young activists are leading and revitalizing the movement to end the nation’s gun violence epidemic — one that kills more than 35,000 people and injures nearly 85,000 each year. At last year’s APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego, attendees got to hear from two such activists in person.

High school students Eden Hebron, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and Tatiana Washington, a student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who lost her aunt to gun violence, both spoke at the Annual Meeting’s Opening General Session. Both are members of the Team Enough Executive Council, a youth-led group organizing to end gun violence.

While in San Diego, the two young women also sat down with APHA TV to talk about why young people are so good at gaining traction on the notoriously intractable issue of guns.

“I think a lot of students are able to have conversations with the opposing side and I think that’s something that our country needs right now,” Hebron told APHA TV.

As Team Enough council members, Hebron and Washington called for three main gun policies: universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and extreme risk protection orders, which temporarily block a person’s access to firearms if he or she is a danger to themselves or others.

Washington — who led a 50-mile march for gun reform from Madison to Janesville, Wisconsin, the home of recently retired House Speaker Paul Ryan — agreed that young people are particularly well-suited at bridging the social divide on guns.

“I think the reason that young people have kind of championed this issue is because it affects all of us, it doesn’t matter your race or your gender or your socioeconomic status,” she told APHA TV.

Visit APHA TV to watch Hebron’s and Washington’s full remarks as well as all the episodes from San Diego. For more on gun violence prevention, including the latest research and ways to take action, visit APHA’s Gun Violence page.

For more video from the 2018 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo, register for APHA Live. APHA Live includes on-demand, online access to 14 of the top sessions from the APHA Annual Meeting, including the Opening General Session, and the opportunity to earn up to 19 free continuing education credits. For even more educational programming from APHA 2018, consider RAMP, which includes synced PowerPoint presentations and voice recording of scientific sessions from the San Diego meeting.