(WXYZ) — Wear Orange is dedicated to honoring the lives of Americans affected by gun violence and elevating the voice of every American who demands an end to gun violence.
Wear Orange / National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired by Project Orange Tree, an awareness campaign to commemorate the life of Hadiya Pendleton and other victims of 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.
In June 2015, on what would have been Hadiya's 18th birthday, a broad-based coalition launched the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Participants were asked to stand up, speak out and Wear Orange to honor Hadiya's life and the lives of all victims and survivors of gun violence. New York gun violence prevention advocate Erica Ford also spearheaded orange as the color of peace through her work with her organization, Life Camp, Inc.
The color orange has a long and proud history in the gun violence prevention movement. Whether it's worn by hunters in the woods of Pennsylvania, activists in Michigan or Hadiya's loved ones in Chicago, Wear Orange honors the 100 lives cut short and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence every day.
Wear Orange Day is celebrated the first Friday in June. Virtual events will happen all weekend long. Events all over Michigan, as well as nationwide events may be found at https://wearorange.org/.
Americans deserve to live in a world free from violence – whether in their homes or on our streets. Everyone – particularly non-Black people in the United States -- must take a stand against injustice, white supremacy and racism
Locally, many cities and counties in the tri-county area have made Wear Orange proclamations.
Cities and counties include:
West Bloomfield Township
Macomb County Board of Commissioners
Oakland County Board of Commissioners
"We're extremely pleased with the support for National Gun Violence Awareness Day shown by so many Metro Detroit as well as the Macomb and Oakland County Board of Commissioners. We are grateful that they are joining us in honoring the victims and survivors of gun violence on this important day," said Linda Larsen, Local Group Leader for the South Oakland County Moms Demand Action local group.
Jimmy John's Field in Utica and the Sterling Heights Halo will light up for Wear Orange as well.
Additionally, Detroit Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield is hosting a virtual press conference for Wear Orange on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 11 a.m.