This coming Friday, June 3, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange Day. It’s part of Wear Orange Weekend, June 3-5.
My blogging friend Jill Dennison brought Wear Orange Day to my attention last year. Now, I’m bringing it to yours, and it’s my sincere hope you will let lots of others in on it.
So, what’s this about, you ask? Let’s go to wearorange.org for some background:
On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.
Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015—what would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Since then, Wear Orange has expanded to a period of three days each year: National Gun Violence Awareness Day (the first Friday in June) and Wear Orange Weekend (the accompanying weekend). This year, Wear Orange will take place from June 3-5, 2022.Orange has become the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement. New York gun violence prevention advocate Erica Ford spearheaded orange as the color of peace through her work with her organization, Life Camp, Inc. Whether it’s worn by students in Montana, activists in New York, or Hadiya’s loved ones in Chicago, the color orange honors the more than 110 lives cut short and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence every day.Our movement gains momentum when people come together to fight for a future free from gun violence. In 2021, more than 1,000 partner organizations, influencers, corporate brands, elected officials, and landmarks joined hundreds of thousands of Americans to unite around a call to end gun violence. As Wear Orange pushes on into its eighth year, we hope you will join us by attending Wear Orange events, posting on social media, and much more! Learn more about all the ways you can participate in Wear Orange.
I encourage all of you to visit wearorange.org to find out how you can participate this weekend. In light of recent events like the Uvalde, Texas massacre, everybody is obviously aware of gun violence, already, but this is a good opportunity to demonstrate our solidarity and commitment to seeing gun violence end.
And yes, I’m very aware that everybody wearing orange will solve nothing; it’s gonna take a lot more than that.
To that end, let me recommend one other website to you: Brady.
Named for Jim Brady, the White House Press Secretary who was shot during an attempted assassination of President Reagan in 1981, Brady is an organization dedicated to ending gun violence by arming people with facts, not guns and ammo, and by suggesting ways we can participate in the cause.
The website is an excellent resource. Please take time to visit it, educate yourself, share what you learn, and get involved.
We are not helpless, even if the United States Congress is. We must take action.
I’m not a father, but I know I don’t want to see one more child gunned down.
Or one more teacher.
Or one more church member.
Or one more store customer.
Or one more driver.
Or one more minority member.
Or one more any innocent victim.
ENOUGH. IS. ENOUGH.
You with me?
Good. Got any orange?