Americans Will Gather Virtually at More Than 200 Grassroot Events During Wear Orange Weekend, Uniting Around a Call to Action to End Gun Violence, Which is Often Caused by Systemic Racism
NEW YORK — The Wear Orange campaign today announced a broad-based coalition that will participate virtually in the sixth annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 5, 2020, and events dedicated to honoring the lives of people in America affected by gun violence. Wear Orange elevates the voice of everyone in America who demands an end to gun violence throughout Wear Orange Weekend, taking place June 6 and 7. Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s family and friends wore in her honor after she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013.
This year’s Wear Orange campaign is happening against the backdrop of nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd by police. While George Floyd is one of numerous Black people who have been killed in recent weeks, including Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, there are countless more that have been killed in incidents of racism and violence. For generations, Black and brown people in America have been disproportionately impacted by gun violence, fueled by racism and white supremacy. Earlier this week, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund with Moms Demand Action volunteers encouraged support of community groups working at the intersection of racial justice and gun violence prevention.
“We deserve to live in a world free from violence — whether in our homes or on our streets. We all must come together and take a stand against the deadly mix of guns and hate. For Hadiya, for our communities, for everyone in America who is touched by gun violence, we continue to fight, educate, organize and rally for gun safety,” said Nza-Ari Khepra, co-founder of Project Orange Tree and the Wear Orange Campaign.
The ongoing coronavirus crisis is also exacerbating the gun violence crisis in America, bringing heightened risks of domestic violence, unintentional shootings and gun suicide.
The Wear Orange campaign will showcase the breadth of the gun violence prevention movement. Details announced today include:
- Grassroots volunteers from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in collaboration with the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and local partners, will gather at more than 200 virtual events in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. during the weekend.
- #WearOrange is collaborating with athletes, including support from more than 25 individual teams, ranging from the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Bruins and the Washington Mystics, along with more than 100 individual players ranging from Tim Anderson of the White Sox to Diontae Spencer of the Denver Broncos, Aaron Donald of the L.A. Rams and Meghan Klingenberg of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Portland Thorns, along with league-wide, player-led engagement of the entire WNBA and the participation of White Sox players and their families. Athletes from the Everytown Athletic Council along with coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors also participated in a video about why Wear Orange and the gun violence prevention movement is so important to each of them.
- ATX Television Festival will virtually Wear Orange for Wear Orange Weekend, including highlighting “Why I Wear Orange” videos from influencers including Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Jason George, and Natalie Morales. ATX is also hosting a panel on gun safety depictions in the Netflix limited series “Unbelievable,” featuring showrunner Susannah Grant, executive producer Sarah Timberman, technical advisor Elizabeth Devine, and former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Daniel Isom.
- More than 50 corporate brands are supporting Wear Orange online and through employee programs, including: Amalgamated Bank, Levi Strauss and Co., Postmates, ThirdLove, TOMS and RXR Realty, among others. This year, Rosco, a manufacturer of color light filters, is supporting Wear Orange by providing information on ways to use color light filters to illuminate one’s home, office or landmark orange.
- More than 120 landmarks and key buildings across the country will turn orange, including the Aloha Tower (HI), Capital One Arena (Washington, DC), Pennsylvania State Capitol, Skydance Bridge (OK), and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (LA).
- More than 200 national membership groups, non-profit organizations and faith partners across various issue areas continue to join the coalition of organizations turning orange on June 5, with groups like the American Federation of Teachers, Amnesty International USA and The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism taking part in Wear Orange.
- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) have introduced resolutions recognizing June 5th as National Gun Violence Awareness Day and June as National Gun Violence Awareness Month to honor Hadiya’s birthday – June 2, 1997 – and to remember all victims and survivors of gun violence.
- More than 70 Mayors from around the country will participate in the Wear Orange campaign including Mayor Quinton Lucas (Kansas City, MO), Mayor Christine Hunschofsky (Parkland, FL) and Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Chicago, IL).
- Media brands supporting orange include ViacomCBS, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Logo, Bad Robot, Allure, Bustle, Parents, and PEOPLE, among others.