Americans Will Join Events in Every State and DC During Wear Orange Weekend, Calling for an End to the Gun Violence Epidemic that Likely Killed More Than 40,000 in 2020 and Wounded More Than 80,000
NEW YORK —The Wear Orange campaign today announced that for the seventh year in a row, a broad-based coalition of cultural influencers, elected leaders, corporate brands, nonprofit partner organizations and a series of buildings and landmarks will participate in National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 4, 2021. Members of the coalition, as well as thousands of volunteers across the country, will also participate in events throughout Wear Orange Weekend, June 5-6, dedicated to honoring the lives taken and changed by gun violence, and demanding action to stop the crisis.
Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015 – what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 18th birthday. Hadiya’s friends were looking for a way to honor her after she was shot and killed on a Chicago playground, and chose the color orange because it’s what hunters wear to protect themselves and others in the woods. Today, Wear Orange honors Hadiya and the more than 100 Americans shot and killed every day, as well as the hundreds more who are wounded.
The Wear Orange campaign will showcase the breadth of the gun violence prevention movement. Details announced today include:
- Thousands of grassroots volunteers from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in collaboration with the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and more than 150 local partners, will host 200+ events and activities in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. during the weekend, centering the work around survivors of gun violence and community partners whose work directly addresses gun violence prevention and the intersection of racial injustice and other root causes.
- Supporters in collaboration with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund are currently fundraising to support 10 local partners as part of Wear Orange, where Everytown Support Fund will match up to $150,000 raised through the end of the campaign. Partners include:
- Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County (NJ)
- Fusion Partnerships as fiscal sponsor for Baltimore Ceasefire 365 (MD)
- College Bound Dorchester Inc.’s Boston Uncornered (MA)
- Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation (WY)
- Lifeline to Success Inc. (TN)
- Mikey 23 Foundation (MI)
- Newark Community Street Team (NJ)
- Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs as fiscal sponsor for RISE for Youth (VA)
- Rise Up Rochester, Inc. (NY)
- Tulsa Community Foundation as fiscal sponsor for Terence Crutcher Foundation (OK)
- Wear Orange is partnering with the sports community once again including through a launch event with the Washington Mystics of the WNBA and Monumental Sports & Entertainment; coordinated game day participation by players across the WNBA and the San Francisco Giants of the MLB; activations by Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Falcons, and the National Women’s Hockey League, along with members of the Everytown Athletic Council including Aaron Donald, Natasha Cloud and Diontae Spencer; and the publication of personal essays by Reggie Bullock of the New York Knicks in The Players’ Tribune, and retired WNBA player Devereaux Peters in Vogue.
- DICK’S Sporting Goods, in partnership with the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, will make “The W Wears Orange” t-shirts available to the public for the first time in support of Wear Orange. The shirts will also be sold online and at approximately 120 stores across the country and online. WNBA players will also wear the t-shirts before and after games.
- Lion Forge Animation, a leading Black-owned animation studio which won an Academy Award in 2020 for the animated short, “Hair Love,” collaborated with Everytown to produce “Blossom,” an original short film which powerfully illustrates the experience of joining the Wear Orange movement.
- During Wear Orange Weekend, the National Building Museum in Washington D.C will collect objects belonging to victims of gun violence for the Gun Violence Memorial Project — a project designed by MASS Design Group that features four houses built of 700 glass bricks; each house represents the average number of American lives taken by gun violence each week. As part of the launch of Wear Orange 2021, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) donated an object in honor of her son, Jordan Davis.
- More than 100 corporate brands are supporting Wear Orange including Amalgamated Bank, Bad Robot, Levi Strauss & Co., Northwell Health, RXR Realty, and ViacomCBS. Media brands including Allure, Crooked Media’s Takeline, Dame, Good Housekeeping, Parents, Parents Latina, PEOPLE, Prevention, Seventeen, Vogue, and Woman’s Day are also featuring the campaign.
- Influencers are coming out in full force for Wear Orange:
- The Everytown Creative Council, chaired by Julianne Moore, will support Wear Orange online and through engagement in a variety of events: Moore joined Hadiya’s family for an Instagram Live conversation on Hadiya’s birthday; fashion designer Claire Vivier held a virtual advocacy workshop with producer Naomi Scott; and Jason George will join Students Demand Action’s National Summit today. Sophia Bush will wrap up the weekend with an Instagram Live conversation with Mia Tretta, student leader and gun violence survivor.
- Nza-Ari Khepra helped launch the campaign at a convening of the WNBPA and will be the featured guest on today’s Let’s Talk podcast.
- Michael Franti is performing his Wear Orange-themed concerts at Red Rocks in Colorado again and has launched a gun reform advocacy resources section of his website, and Bon Iver has designed and is releasing special-edition Orange digital graphics, bands Anti-Flag and X Ambassadors will participate too.
- The campaign is also being supported by the literary world: Penguin Random House will release their National Gun Violence Awareness Day Book List and match employee donations to the 10 local partners designated by Everytown Support Fund throughout Wear Orange Weekend; Quirk Books is creating #WearOrange bookmarks; and five additional publishers and more than a dozen independent bookstores are participating.
- More than 200 landmarks, buildings and billboards across the country will turn orange, including the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles City Hall, Washington National Cathedral, A Carousel for Missoula (MT), The Nashville Sign, Cheyenne Depot Museum (WY), the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (Boston), Lamar Advertising digital billboards, and a record 13 stadiums and arenas.
- More than 200 non-profit organizations and faith partners across various issue areas continue to join the coalition of organizations turning orange on June 4, with groups like Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Clergy for Safe Cities, Latino Victory Fund, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cure Violence Global, Union for Reform Judaism, Cities United, and the Greater New York Hospital Association taking part in Wear Orange.
- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) have introduced resolutions recognizing June 4th 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 180 mayors from around the country will participate in the Wear Orange campaign including Mayor LaToya Cantrell (New Orleans, LA), Mayor Quinton Lucas (Kansas City, MO), and Mayor Jorge Elorza (Providence, RI) by issuing proclamations declaring June 4 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day, lighting municipal landmarks orange, and posting on social media.
Every year, Wear Orange expands, as community partners, gun violence survivors and gun safety advocates hold events – from virtual gatherings, to community beautification projects, donation drives and Wear Orange walks. This year, advocates will once again participate in every state and DC, and while the activities will be structured for pandemic safety, the voices will be louder than ever. Because gun violence didn’t stop because of COVID-19 – in fact, it worsened. In 2020, the number of people killed by gun violence exceeded 40,000 – the highest rate of gun deaths in two decades.
“Everyone should be able to feel safe in the community where they live, but too often, that sense of safety has been taken by the knowledge that gun violence could occur at any moment,” said Nza-Ari Khepra, co-founder of Project Orange Tree and the Wear Orange Campaign. “For my friend Hadiya and for so many others whose lives have been taken or forever changed by gun violence, we must all rally, organize and continue to do everything we can to demand an end to this epidemic.”