#WearOrange: Gun Violence Awareness Day is June 1
Friday marks the fourth-annual Wear Orange Weekend to kick off National Gun Violence Awareness Month.
Friends of Hadiya Pendleton wore orange after the 15-year-old was gunned down in Chicago in 2013, just days after she performed at President Obama’s second inauguration.
Since Hadiya's murder, 75,000 more Americans have lost their lives to gun violence.
Perhaps this year, which has already seen a groundswell of activism inspired by the Parkland school shooting survivors and the #MarchForOurLives demonstrations - will begin to reverse that trend.
Major advocacy groups and organizations each year mark Wear Orange Weekend with social media campaigns and community-focused events. There are hundreds of rallies, picnics and demonstrations planned for Friday and through the weekend — far too many to list out here. Everytown has a rundown of every rally, picnic and march happening across the country.
Or, Text ORANGE to 644-33 to find a #WearOrange Weekend event near you.
Coordinate with your crew to #WearOrange
Why orange? Organizers say it’s because orange is a color so loud, it can’t be ignored. For Hadiya Pendleton's friends, the color signified a call to action for a future free of gun violence.
Orange is also the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves from friendly fire (which typically works, unless you’re on a ranch with Dick Cheney).
Imagine if everyone in your office building, at the grocery store or #FriYay happy hour are all wearing orange — it’d be hard not to notice. (FWIW, the pro-gun control group Everytown is hawking some first-rate orange swag with everything from temporary tattoos to
Become an influencer
Use the hashtag #WearOrange throughout the weekend and follow it for updates on events.
Pro tip: Dozens of landmarks will light up in orange throughout the weekend, so if you’re anti-selfies, but still want to post your support on Instagram, this is your best option. Here’s a list of monuments that have participated in the past.
“All of it seems like a drop in the bucket, but if everyone becomes a little bit of an activist a couple of times a year, it makes you feel like a citizen of this world, a citizen of America, who is trying to advocate for change and guidelines and safety.” —Actress Kyra Sedgwick (@kyrasedgwick)
Get to know Erica Ford, the activist who started the campaign to #WearOrange
Erica Ford has been a mainstay in gun violence awareness and advocacy for more than three decades. She started the #Orange4Peace campaign in New York seven years ago with the hope of building a grassroots campaign to combat gun violence. And over just a few short years, her campaign has evolved into a full movement with buy-in from major national partners, politicians and influencers. “I wear orange with joy knowing that spark is lighting the hearts of so many to end gun violence,” Ford told Everytown.
Ford’s non-profit organization, LIFE Camp, teaches peace as a lifestyle. Their latest campaign is called Trauma is Real, and highlights programs to work with at-risk youth who are suffering from PTSD and fear caused by gun violence. To donate directly to LIFE Camp and their Trauma is Real campaign, find their GoFundMe account here.
More ways to connect with Ford and learn about her work:
Watch Ford’s 2016 Ted Talk: