Mission of Change the Ref:
Patricia and Manuel Oliver’s son Joaquin was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. They have been on a five year journey of activism since their son was murdered along with 13 other students and 3 staff. The Oliver’s form of activism uses art to make profound social statements about gun violence in our country. They use “innovative messaging, advertising and disruptive art campaigns to pressure the country’s law makers to do the right thing and free us from gun violence.”
The most recent form of activism from this dedicated family is in the form of a children’s book. Clearly, it is for adults for a specific purpose, and not children, but it tells the story of their son Joaquin’s last day of school, February 14, 2018. It is very hard to watch, to read, to think about, but we have no other choice. In fact, the Oliver’s have a mechanism to send a copy of the book to legislators who refuse to take action to reduce gun violence.
Here is the artist statement about why Patricia Oliver wrote this book:
A Children’s Book to Explain Gun Violence to Childish Politicians
American politicians funded by pro-gun organizations either refuse to acknowledge the urgent need for stricter gun control laws. That’s why we decided to explain it to them in the easiest way possible: as if they were five years old. We tell the tragic story of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, one of 14 students killed in a high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Instead of finger holes to help kids turn the page, bullet holes bore through the entire book, representing the same bullets that cut short innocent lives.
The story is shared in a video linked below:
Joaquin’s First School Shooting
Learn more about the mission of Change the Ref: