The "Road To Change" Tour: How Parkland students went from teens to activists

VICE News joined Parkland students as they spent their summer vacation touring the country and advocating for gun reform.

Six months after a gunman killed 17 of their classmates, the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have become the most recognizable faces of the gun-reform movement. And what started as a march on Washington, D.C. has now morphed into a movement with the same name: March for Our Lives. The Parkland students have since used that spotlight to broaden their coalition with a 20-state bus tour aimed at registering new voters and electing politicians that will enact gun-reform legislation.


"It's about creating a table that doesn't have a limit on the seating," said Matt Deitsch, 20, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas alum and March for Our Lives' chief strategist. "It’s about creating something that every single person in this country can see themselves in." Dubbed "Road to Change," the tour was a highly organized, tightly managed operation -- some students working on the campaign even had job titles like "creative director." The tour also recruited young activists from across the country to help bring attention to other forms of gun violence.

"You can't preach about progressing forward with unity if you don't have every single person at the table speaking about their own story," said Bria Smith, 17, a student from Milwaukee, who joined the tour earlier in the summer.

VICE News followed these kids on the final leg of their tour to see how this youth-led movement is managed, and to learn how they plan to keep the momentum going.

This segment originally aired August 13, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.