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The Lost Class

Change the Ref

Issue 60 | September 2021

Background

3,044 students should have graduated high school in the U.S. this year – but lost their lives to gun violence. Change The Ref, an organization that advocates for gun control, approached Leo Burnett with a stark request: How do we force pro-gun advocates to reckon with the consequences of their punditry? And how can we honor the memories of the victims? After speaking with Change the Ref founders, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin was one of the 17 victims in the Parkland massacre, Leo Burnett Chicago came up with the idea to stage a graduation ceremony with unlikely guest speakers.

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