After sparking a national anti-gun violence movement, the Stoneman Douglas student group #NeverAgain is preparing to once again push for stricter gun laws with a nationwide march, led by the newest generation of activist consumers: Gen Z. This Saturday, over 1 million people are expected to descend on Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives, advocating for changes to gun regulations and school safety, with “sibling marches” expected to take place across the country and world. As students, parents, teachers and allies prepare for the demonstration this weekend, several businesses have taken a stance to show their support:
- Financial support: Gucci was among the first brands to partner with Everytown for Gun Safety to donate $500,000 to the March for Our Lives rally. The dating app Bumble has also donated to the march. Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of Bumble, told The New York Times, “This is not super black and white. It’s a very tricky battle we’ve chosen to take on, but I’d rather pursue this than just ignore it.”
- Fueling demonstrators: Restaurant groups, ThinkFoodGroup and Eatwell, will be giving away free bagged lunches to students under 18 years old who are marching in Washington, D.C. Additionally, D.C.-based &Pizza, Shake Shack, sweetgreen, Sugar Shack Donuts and Cava will all offer 50 percent discounts to students marching.
- Encouraging participation: Lyft announced it would provide free rides to and from 50 rallies nationwide for those who RSVP. The ridesharing app will send a promo code on Friday, March 23 to access the discounted rides. This week, retailer American Eagle sent an email stating, “Young people are coming together. They are changing the conversation. And that is something we can all find inspiration in.” The email also included an option to learn more about the march and RSVP to the event.
- Spreading awareness: In addition to a $500,000 donation, a group of Viacom networks will be airing special segments on gun violence prior to the march, and will also offer live coverage of the event. BET will partner with nonprofit DISARM to award grants to youth activists, and CMT will collaborate with the music industry to increase efforts in support of gun safety.
Gen Z is a highly engaged, socially conscious group looking to make an impact. Gun control is an issue that is near and dear to this generation and while they have spurred a movement, they are looking to companies to help move the needle forward on this hot-button issue. In fact, over two-thirds (68%) of Gen Z expects companies to step up and take a stand on gun control. Brands looking to put a stake in the ground can build on the momentum of #ENOUGH and March for Our Lives, partnering with key organizations that align with Gen Z’s expectations while also reflecting the brands’ values.