NEW YORK CITY — Today more than 200 organizations, cultural influencers and elected officials will participate in the first annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange. The “Wear Orange” campaign (www.wearorange.org) was inspired by a group of Chicago teens that asked classmates to commemorate the life of their friend — 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton — who was shot and killed one week after marching in President Obama’s second inaugural parade — by wearing orange, a color that hunters use to protect themselves in the woods. What started in their high school has grown into a national movement, elevating orange as a symbol for the value of human life — and a way to visibly honor the 88 American lives cut short by gun violence every day, plus the countless survivors forever altered by shootings each year.
Select new details announced today include:
- The New York Mets became the first pro sports franchise to join the campaign and today released a photo of the entire team wearing orange in support of efforts to reduce gun violence. The team will also release a photo of the Mets’ front office staff wearing orange in support of the campaign.
- Rachel Dratch, Reverend Al Sharpton, Tony Hawk, Hari Kondabolu, Rachel Zoe, Indigo Girls, Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show, Andrew Bird and the writers of “Orange is the New Black” are some of the newest cultural influencers to join the campaign. They join previously announced supporters Julianne Moore, Russell Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Aasif Mandvi, Alyssa Milano, Padma Lakshmi and many more (full list below).
- The staffs of Cosmopolitan.com, More magazine and Nylon magazine will wear orange today, sharing photos on Instagram and Twitter, and encouraging readers to do the same using the #wearingorange hashtag. They join previously announced partners MTV, HBO, Vans Warped Tour and Essence Magazine (more details below).
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD), New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti became some of the newest elected officials to support the campaign. They join previously announced New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, former New York City Mayor and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Michael R. Bloomberg, as well as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).
- Motown Records’ staff and roster have signed on to support Wear Orange, including Grammy Nominated BJ the Chicago Kid, Kevin Ross, James Davis and Rich White Ladies, among many others.
- Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, National Action Network, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National PTA, UniteBlue and Voto Latino joined in, pushing the number of organizations in the Wear Orange coalition to nearly 60 (full list below).
- New York Times best-selling authors Susan Orlean, Gayle Forman, Meg Wolitzer, Ann Packer, Caroline Leavitt, Ann Leary, and Sarah McCoy have all signed on and will support Wear Orange online today. Joining them will be literary luminaries including Roxana Robinson, Julianna Baggott, Molly Antopol, Rebecca Walker, Alexander Chee, Elissa Schappell, Alysia Abbott, Julie Klam, Jillian Medoff, Amy Shearn, Diana Abu-Jaber, Sally Koslow, Amy Brill, Laurel Snyder, and Jennifer Haupt.
Previously announced highlights of the campaign include:
- MTV’s on-air logo — as well as several of its social media avatars — is orange today in recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day today.
- HBO will today debut the trailer for its hard-hitting new documentary, Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014, from Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Shari Cookson and Nick Doob, which premieres on HBO June 22nd at 9:00pm EST/PST. Told entirely through social media postings, news accounts and other found media, the new documentary offers an unvarnished portrait of the human toll from gun violence in America. The trailer will debut and be available at HuffingtonPost.com.
- Mayors in more than 68 cities, from 21 states and representing more than 24 million Americans will be wearing orange today; many of them will also issue proclamations declaring June 2nd Gun Violence Awareness Day in their city moving forward. Participants include Mayors Emanuel (Chicago), De Blasio (New York), Garcetti (Los Angeles) Nutter (Philadelphia), Lee (San Francisco), Walsh (Boston), Hales (Portland, OR), Wharton Jr. (Memphis), Slay (St. Louis), Stanton (Phoenix) Schneider (Santa Barbara), Murray (Seattle), Peduto (Pittsburgh), Barrett (Milwaukee) and Coleman (Columbus, OH).
Today, in Chicago, the Wear Orange campaign is hosting “Party for Peace,” a community event to honor the lives of those affected by gun violence and elevate gun violence prevention efforts in Chicago and nationwide. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak and Motown recording artist James Davis will perform. Details are at wearorange.org/partyforpeace.
Last week, the Wear Orange campaign released a video telling the story of Hadiya’s tragic death, how her friends and family refused to let her die in vain, and how what they started on the south side of Chicago is becoming a national movement. Today would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday.
Anyone who believes we can do more to save American lives from gun violence is encouraged to join the Wear Orange campaign today by wearing one piece of orange clothing, taking a photo of themselves and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #wearingorange. Further, supporters are encouraged to visit wearorange.org and use the website’s pledge tool to change their social media profile picture orange or share why they are #wearingorange on the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day.