Children will voice concerns at inaugural Young and Mighty March in Sunnyside

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Nearly 500 young people from Woodside and Sunnyside are expected to take part in the Young and Mighty March next weekend, just two weeks before the midterm elections.

The first-ever event, scheduled for Oct. 21, is being organized by PARADE, and new borough-based public art organization serving western Queens.

“We’ve never launched a march before but we’re aiming for 500 [people] and we’ve been doing workshops and outreach in Sunnyside and Woodside,” PARADE Co-founder Paddy Johnson said. “It is in these workshop where the kids are taking the lead to decide which of their concerns will be heard.”

The mission of the march is to offer kids of all ages a platform to express their concerns about political events, inspire civil engagement and draw attention to issues affecting youth. As the midterm elections approach, organizers want the kids to know that just because they can’t vote, doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice. This is their chance to be heard.

“Many talk about kindness, one child talked of replacing ammo in guns with candy, and another talked of the need for a female president and more female leadership in government,” Johnson said. “It takes a lot of courage to make art, to speak up, and to march in the streets for what you believe in. New York kids are some of the bravest and most inventive people we know, so we can’t wait to see what they do.”

Big Bird and Elmo will join the children’s march as it steps off from Lou Ladoti Park, located at 41-15 Skillman Ave. in Sunnyside. After a short rally featuring poet Laureate William Loheir, child star Ellis Rubin, youth activists, and artists, marchers will walk east on Skillman Avenue, loop around to 43rd Avenue at 48th Street and then head back to Lodati. The event is open to children of all ages with adult supervision.

“With The Young and Mighty March and workshops — which we hope will become an annual event for all young New Yorkers — we have an opportunity to start a conversation with the people whose lives will be most impacted by the decisions adults make today,” PARADE Co-founder Nancy Kleaver said.

To learn more about the march, contact Kleaver via email at

Organizers encourage the public to host their own poster-making parties in preparation for the event and will share lesson activities and resources on social media to support them.

The Young and Mighty March is meant to be a peaceful, positive, and creative project on highlighting the hopes and dreams of kids in western Queens. Messages of non-tolerance, bullying and electioneering will not be allowed.

”My first year of motherhood coincided with Trump’s first year in office, so as soon as my daughter was big enough I strapped her into the carrier and joined fellow New Yorkers at various marches,” Event Organizer and Filmmaker Kate Marks said.

“I found myself craving a space where kids could get the microphone. With the Young and Mighty March I wanted to show my daughter that kids can be powerful — that even in the shadows of a giant, the smallest voices can be heard.”

PARADE is working in partnership with Woodside on the Move and Sunnyside Community Services

Organizers are actively seeking volunteers, donations and local business sponsors.

For more information on how to get involved, visit

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, October 17, 2018
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Reader feedback

Celtic from Bayside says:
Disgusting how filthy liberals are using children for political gain.
Oct. 17, 12:58 am
John from Queens says:
Got to indoctrinate them while they are young. This is a young democratic socialist march - lets ban guns and we need quotas for women in government. These people are so stupid - guns are already basically banned for the average citizen in NYC and why doesn't the stupid white guy DeBlasio resign so a woman can take his position? Oh yea thats right - they are addicted to power and telling you how you should live your life.
Oct. 17, 11:53 am
Guistina from Flushing says:
Makes you wonder who indoctrinated Celtic and John to use such nasty words to describe a group of energized young people who are engaged in the political process and learning about their civic duties.
Oct. 17, 9:10 pm
Dwayne from Queens says:
Typical from the left who always use young children as their human shields. Wonder how much their parents were paid.
Oct. 18, 3:28 am
John from Queens says:
I was indoctrinated by Thomas Jefferson, Ludwig Von Mises, Murray Rothbard and Thomas Woods if you were wondering Guistina. I didn't use nasty words. Your side basically controls NYC. Quit projecting us as hate mongers. These people are using children as political tools. The people running this event favor civic engagement for one side - the progressive social liberal left wing.
Oct. 18, 6:23 am
Paul from Queens says:
Ultimately, the only thing that crazy rightwing Libertarian anarcho-capitalists like John care about is $$$. We've seen how quickly they sell out and make deals with authoritarian devils like Trump and Pence.
Oct. 18, 7:43 am
Helton from Flushing says:
Guistina describes the participants as young people. I think of young people being 12-15 years old. I don't think that these kids are that old. After all, Big Bird and Elmo will be there. These are young children being used as political pawns. Big difference between young people and young children. And why are Big Bird and Elmo attending a political event?
Oct. 18, 10:18 am
Celtic from Bayside says:
I was indoctrinated, as a young kid growing up in Sunnyside/Woodside, by wonderful WW2 American heroes that started orginizations like the Boys Brigade out of St. Sebastian. As the child of Irish immigrants, these men taught me about God, country and family...and the importance of standing for the National Anthem and reciting, in school, the Pledge of Allegience. This parade is basically promoting Antifa leftist radical mob mentality to our kids.
Oct. 18, 6:02 pm
Samson from Bayside says:
Give me a break - you say “filthy” liberals. Do you think the good Sisters of St. Sebastian’s would be proud of your insulting language, or instead did they teach you to be compassionate and caring for those less fortunate? I was taught the latter at my Catholic school - and I haven’t lost my soul to money, greed and hate. What a shame to become so mean-spirited.
Oct. 18, 9:21 pm
Think from Queens says:
Oh please. These liberals are putting ideas in these kids' heads. They are teaching them how to be sheep instead of thinking for themselves anymore.
Oct. 19, 5:53 am
Think from Queens says:
Guistina from Flushing says: Makes you wonder who indoctrinated Celtic and John to use such nasty words to describe a group of energized young people who are engaged in the political process and learning about their civic duties. Their civic duties? They should be thinking for themselves instead of having liberal sheep parents think for them. And your "civic duty" as an American is to uphold American laws and the constitution. Our laws state "you CAN'T enter the USA ILLEGALLY" and the states that we have the right to bare arms. This is LAW that many of you idiot LIBERALS FAIL to understand. You cant pick and choose which laws you want followed in this country like so many of you hypocrite liberals do.
Oct. 19, 5:59 am
Rebecca from Flushing says:
Two words....Blue Wave!
Oct. 19, 7:44 pm

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