On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 1, Americans across the country will be wearing orange. It is a simple, but powerful, statement — and when we all act together, we can’t be ignored. On June 1st, our social networks, our monuments, and our communities will light up orange, standing together for a bright future free from gun violence.
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Why Orange? Because Orange is what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves from harm. Orange is a bright, bold color that demands to be seen. Orange expresses our collective hope as a nation – hope for a future free from gun violence, where our movie theaters, our concerts, our places of worship, and our schools are free from gun violence.
Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s 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. After her death, her friends started to Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence. And what started with a group of friends on the South Side of Chicago has turned into a nationwide movement to honor the 96 lives cut short and the hundreds more injured by gun violence every day – and to demand action.
This movement is powerful when gun sense activists come together to fight for a future free from gun violence. Wear Orange Weekend is an opportunity for us to show the country just how powerful we are.
Wear Orange Weekend starts on June 1 — National Gun Violence Awareness Day — when people will be showing their support for gun violence prevention online. It continues through the weekend with hundreds of events, including rallies, marches, BBQs, and more planned by thousands of gun sense supporters like you.
- Write Congress. The reality is that if we really want to stop gun violence, Congress needs to pass comprehensive legislation. We must demand our elected representatives take every step necessary to keep our schools, students, and educators safe from gun violence.
- Organize a voter registration drive at your high school or in your community. The young people standing up to demanding change in the wake of the shooting in Parkland have been nothing short of incredible. We must be sure to equip them with the most powerful tool of change: the vote.
- Download NEA’s School Crisis Guide. This comprehensive document helps schools prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from tragedies such as school shootings.