“IT’S IMPORTANT that we have these moments of silence to remember these individuals, but I think it’s just as important to speak up,” said David Hogg at a Forum event in March. “We have been silent for too long as a nation; we’ve allowed these things to continue for too long.” Hogg was talking about remembering the 17 people who were shot to death by a 19-year-old at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February. But he was also talking about the need to honor the victims’ memories by doing more than holding a respectful moment of silence.

Hogg and five others—Matt and Ryan Deitsch, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind—are among a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and alumni at the forefront of a growing national movement calling for gun law reform. In March, they visited Harvard just days before they led a major march for gun control in which hundreds of thousands of students across the country participated, in Washington and in hundreds of other locations across the country.

Before the Forum event at which they spoke, the students met with President Drew Faust and students and faculty from around Harvard. They came to listen and to absorb as well as to speak. Kasky explained how he reacted after he began seeing the predictable reactions to the tragedy in the media and on social media. “I was listening to the news, and I was looking at my phone and seeing what was going on, and I started to realize I’ve seen this before,” he said. “What happens is we get two weeks in the news, we get a bundle of thoughts and prayers, everybody sends flowers, and then it’s over. ... We said no, you’re not controlling our narrative, you are not telling our story.”

Johanna Maska, CEO of Global Situation Room

“Language is power, and our language needs to reflect our values.”

Johanna Maska, CEO of Global Situation Room, at a Forum in March on the push to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

“If something in your heart says ‘I want to be part of rebuilding a really important city,’ we have a spot for you.”

Mike Duggan, mayor of Detroit, at a Forum in April on revitalizing the city.

Dahlia Lithwick

“The deeper conversation we’re going to have to have isn’t the bad apples, it’s the apples in the middle.”

Dahlia Lithwick, a legal reporter at Slate, at a Forum in April on the #MeToo movement and the media.

Former President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

“Whoever says there is nothing good in Africa does not get that from the context of history.”

Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, president of Tanzania from 2005 to 2015, speaking at a Forum in April with other former African leaders.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

“This is a loud country. ... We are loud about the things that we care most about, politics among them.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, at a Forum in May on his confidence that the country can reach common ground despite the “noise.”

David O’Sullivan, EU ambassador to the United States

“When the chips are down any president defending the interest of this country is going to realize that the transatlantic relationship is essential.”

David O’Sullivan, EU ambassador to the United States, at a Forum in April on the relationship between Europe and the United States.