MILAN, Italy — The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week, in which 17 people were killed, has ratcheted up the debate over gun control in the United States. Survivors and students across the country are campaigning for legislative reform and preparing to march in Washington, D.C. and other American cities on March 24.
While large companies rarely take a stance on political issues, preferring to remain neutral, the Italian mega-brand Gucci has joined the anti-gun movement, donating $500,000 to March For Our Lives, the organisation planning next month's demonstration. A team representing the company will also join the march.
Gucci has first-hand experience with the tragic impact of mass shootings. When a gunman killed 49 people at an Orlando, Florida nightclub in June 2016, a Gucci employee was among the dead; another was critically injured.
“We stand with March For Our Lives and the fearless students across the country who demand that their lives and safety become a priority,” said the company in a statement. “We have all been directly or indirectly impacted by these senseless tragedies, and Gucci is proud to join this movement with a donation of US$500,000."
“I am truly moved by the courage of these students,” added Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele in a statement. “My love is with them and it will be next to them on March 24. I am standing with March for Our Lives and the strong young women and men across the United States who are fighting for their generation and those to come.”
Gucci has previously supported gender equality movements. In 2013, it launched Chime for Change, a global campaign to advocate for women’s rights that later extended its support to anti-poverty efforts. The company was honoured in October 2017 by Equality Now for its contributions to women’s causes.