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Third National Gun Violence Awareness Day Paints America in Orange

June 6, 2017

Wear Orange 2017 Participants Included President Obama, Kim Kardashian West, Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer, the Empire State Building and More Than 700 Partners, Influencers, Landmarks, Elected Officials and More Than 200,000 Participants

#WearOrange Trended Nationally; Movement Began With Teens in Chicago Who Refused to Stay Silent in the Face of Daily Gun Violence

NEW YORK — Since National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, more than 700 influencers, corporate brands, elected officials, partner organizations and a series of iconic landmarks joined the Wear Orange campaign to honor all survivors of gun violence, remember those killed and to declare that we as a country must do more to reduce gun violence. Wear Orange began with the friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago high school student killed by gunfire. After her death, her classmates decided to honor her life by wearing orange – the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

The Wear Orange campaign and National Gun Violence Awareness Day grew even larger in its third year. Notable updates from Wear Orange 2017 include:

  • More than 250 events took place across the country, with at least one event in every state. The events ranged from a 600-person march across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, to the Party for Peace in Chicago, which this year featured support from Pitchfork Music Festival, to hundreds of Americans marching across the Golden Gate Bridge. Between these events, there were hundreds of others, ranging from cookouts, to rallies, to family picnics and art projects.
  • More than 200,000 people participated in the campaign, helping #WearOrange trend nationally.
  • Across the country, more than 170 landmarks lit up orange as a result of strong grassroots outreach.The Empire State Building lit orange, as did the Freedom Tower, Niagara Falls, the National Cathedral, Los Angeles City Hall, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte and the Tennessee State Capitol. A full list of landmarks can be found here.

Saturday in Chicago, Nate and Cleo Pendleton, the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, whose life and shooting death inspired Wear Orange, joined hundreds of supporters at the Party for Peace, as did Nza-Ari Khepra, a classmate of 15-year-old Hadiya who founded Project Orange Tree and co-created Wear Orange.

“From the trending hashtag to the rallies from coast to coast, this weekend reminded us that we are not alone in our grief – or in our commitment to channel it into action,” said Nathaniel and Cleo Pendleton, the parents of the late Hadiya Pendleton, who serve on the advisory board of Everytown for Gun Safety and co-founded Hadiya’s Promise. “We draw so much strength from seeing the way this movement is growing, and like so many other families, we will keep working every day to create the safer future our children deserve.”

“It’s truly incredible to watch this movement grow year after year – Wear Orange has morphed from a moment my friends and I dreamed up to honor Hadiya to a national movement, with events in every state,” said Nza-Ari Khepra, founder of Project Orange Tree and co-creator of Wear Orange. “I’m so grateful to the thousands of Americans who turned out to turn their communities orange this weekend. Their passion for saving lives from gun violence inspires me to keep going and demanding change.”

Other highlights from the third annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day include:

  • More than 150 cultural influencers and leaders participated in #WearOrange this weekend, including Michael Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West, Keegan-Michael Key, Ron Howard, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Denis O’Hare, Troian Bellisario, Lena Dunham, Mariska Hargitay, Adam and Naomi Scott, Ellen Barkin, JJ Abrams, Cynthia Rowley, Audra McDonald, Lee Daniels, Laura Dern, Jason George, Melissa Joan Hart, Billy Eichner, Ian Harding, Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, Jon Lovett, Cheryl Strayed, Sarah McCoy, Susan Orlean, Mario Batali, Natalie Morales, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Zoe, Ty Burrell, Brie Larson, Rosanne Cash, Peaches and Andy Richter.
  • Prominent current and former elected leaders joined the #WearOrange campaign, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Al Franken, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris.
  • In New York and Los Angeles, cultural leaders including Julianne Moore, Adam and Naomi Scott, Jason George, Ellen Barkin, Natalie Morales, Jordan Klepper, Alysia Reiner, Jeanne Tripplehorn and David Alan Basche attended events, rallying alongside hundreds of volunteers and survivors of gun violence.
  • Many cultural leaders chose to #WearOrange in honor of a specific survivor or victim of gun violence. The influencers who commemorated a victim or survivor of gun violence include Emmitt Smith, Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer, Troian Bellisario, Keegan-Michael Key, Julianna Baggott, Laurel Snyder, Christopher Healy, Deborah Copaken and Diana Abu-Jaber.
  • Viacom and Univision Communications Inc. lent extensive support to the campaign, by airing a Wear Orange PSA in Times Square, turning Viacom’s Times Square headquarters orange and including Wear Orange features on Fusion, MTV and The Onion. More than 60 corporate brands supported Wear Orange—double the number in 2016—including ATTN:, Allure, Bad Robot, Cosmopolitan, Essence, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, GOOP, InStyle, Legal Sea Foods, Marie Claire, Penguin, Pitchfork Music Festival, Redbook, Seventeen, Tumblr, Vans Warped Tour and Woman’s Day. Additional highlights below:
  • A gun violence survivor in Boston, who has been working hard to turn the city orange, reached out to Lamar, a national billboard company, and shared her story with them as the mother of a son killed in Virginia Tech. Lamar donated more than 35 billboards across the country to advertise the Wear Orange message.
  • Snapchat created a story in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day and the Wear Orange campaign.
  • Teen Vogue announced the winners of its Wear Orange creative writing contest on June 2. The guest judge was Jodi Picoult of the Everytown Authors Council, which launched in May.
  • Vogue, Cynthia Rowley, Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Tom Ford, Christian Siriano and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) led the fashion world’s embrace of Wear Orange. Vogue published a series of essays from survivors of gun safety in the days leading up to June 2, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and turned their website orange. Sassy Lips, Vapour Beauty and The Maryn created special edition products for the campaign. Additional details on how the leading voices of fashion are engaged in the Wear Orange campaign are available here.
  • The sports world’s embrace of Wear Orange was led by the San Francisco Giants, who lit up AT&T Field orange for their last home game before June 2, and shared the Can You See Me Now? video with fans in the stadium. Football great Emmitt Smith joined the campaign this year. The Superdome, United Center – home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, Miller Park – home of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks, Pepsi Center – home of the Denver Nuggets, TD Garden in Boston and and the Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Complex all turned orange in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange.
  • More than 90 authors signed on to #WearOrange, and 66 also raffled off autographed books to fans who participated in Wear Orange on June 2. Cartoonists, including Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) and Ruben Bolling (“Tom the Dancing Bug”), also contributed cartoon panels in support of Wear Orange.
  • More than 200 non-profit partners took part in Wear Orange on June 2 including the National Urban League, Planned Parenthood, Women’s March, Organizing for America and American Federation of Teachers. A full list of current partners can be found here.
  • And more than 200 Mayors in 33 states participated in the Wear Orange campaign. Some of the participants include Mayor Frank Jackson (Cleveland, OH), Mayor Marty Walsh (Boston, MA) and Mayor Buddy Dyer (Orlando, FL). A full list of cities can be found here.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate both introduced resolutions recognizing June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day and June as National Gun Violence Awareness Month.
  • In New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Month. Governor John Hikenlooper of Colorado, Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota and Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut also issued proclamations in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Month. The Texas State Senate passed a resolution to honor National Gun Violence Awareness Day, as did the Louisiana legislature.
  • An NYC-based nonprofit organization, Art Start, and prominent New York City street artist Danielle Mastrion, created the first-ever Wear Orange street art mural. Art Start works with youth in underserved communities by offering creative workshops at homeless shelters, alternative-to-incarceration programs, and partnering with youth agencies. The teens who helped to paint the mural, located in Coney Island, also created a song and a music video that specifically relates to gun violence and the theme for Wear Orange 2017, Can You See Me Now?

Spearheaded by volunteers and supporters who are part of the Wear Orange campaign, more than 250 events honored National Gun Violence Awareness Day across the country the weekend of June 2. Marquee events took place in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Orlando, Indianapolis and San Francisco. This is the first year that there was an event in every state. These events showcased the full creativity of Wear Orange supporters from concerts to picnics in the park to Orange Walks to celebrations at local landmarks as they turned orange.

In the years since the launch of Wear Orange and the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, 2015, the effort has reached millions of Americans. Wear Orange 2017 was bigger than ever. On December 14, 2015, as part of the commemoration of the three-year mark since the Sandy Hook shooting and in response to the San Bernardino shooting, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, hosted more than 100 “Orange Walks” to help amplify the gun safety movement. Since then, the Wear Orange movement has grown exponentially. On June 2 and throughout the weekend, hundreds of thousands of Americans stood up once more and committed to doing their part to end gun violence.

Full details on Wear Orange 2017 are available here.

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