The actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal, a human rights lawyer, said Tuesday that they would donate $500,000 to a nationwide protest against gun violence planned next month by teenage survivors of a Florida high school shooting, inspiring similar gifts from other big-name Hollywood figures.
In a statement, the couple said they were “so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women” from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The police say the suspect — a 19-year-old former student, Nikolas Cruz — killed 17 people in a rampage with a semiautomatic weapon there last week.
“Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country,” the Clooneys said. “And in the name of our children, Ella and Alexander, we’re donating 500,000 dollars to help pay for this groundbreaking event.”
“Our children’s lives depend on it,” they added.
The survivors of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting have emerged as influential new voices in the gun debate, urging lawmakers to adopt new gun control measures in protests outside schools and national television appearances that have been shared widely online.
Shortly after the Clooneys made their announcement, other Hollywood leaders said they would match their donation, including the producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, and the media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
“These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard,” Ms. Winfrey said on Twitter.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) February 20, 2018
Sarah Chadwick, one of the students organizing the nationwide protest, called March for Our Lives, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that she and other organizers were “so appreciative” of what Mr. Clooney and his wife had done. Plans for the march were announced over the weekend.
“Five hundred thousand dollars. That’s not pocket change,” the 16-year-old junior said. “That’s a lot of money, and we’re so thankful he donated it to our cause.”
In their statement, the Katzenbergs said: “We will join Amal and George Clooney on March 24 to stand alongside these remarkable young people We are also donating $500,000 to March for Our Lives to support this historic event.”
Mr. and Mrs. Clooney’s announcement on Tuesday came six months after they donated $1 million, through their Clooney Foundation for Justice, to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization in Montgomery, Ala., that tracks extremist groups.
Stan Rosenfield, a spokesman for Mr. Clooney, said the couple’s donation on Tuesday was made by them personally and did not come from their foundation.
Source: New York Times
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