Wear Orange is an awareness campaign for National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is held on the first Friday in June. Started by Everytown for Gun Safety, the campaign honors the memory of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013. Pendleton’s friends wore orange, her favorite color, to commemorate her.
On January 29th, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old black girl, was shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois. Her death occurred one week after performing at events for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
Four years later, on May 5th, 2017, the New York Times published “The Color of Protest,” a report about the “Wear Orange” campaign, which asks people to dress in orange clothes on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. They wrote:
The nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety had invited a mix of celebrities, designers and survivors of gun violence to a dinner for the start of its 2017 Wear Orange campaign, which encourages people to don the bold hue for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2.
On June 1st, 2017, Instagram account for Moms Demand Action posted about the campaign. They wrote, “In @TimesSquareNYC, and across the nation, we will be seen and our voices will be heard tomorrow on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Join us!” The post received more than 280 likes in less than four years (shown below).
Over the next few years, numerous celebrities participated in the campaign. On June 7th, 2019, President Barack Obama tweets, “Last week, it was Virginia Beach. But day after day and year after year, too many families and communities are shattered by senseless gun violence. We can’t get numb to this. On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, pledge to speak out, #WearOrange — and vote — to protect lives.” The tweet received more than 171,000 likes and 33,000 retweets in less than one year (shown below, left). Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted, “#WearOrange because the gun violence epidemic must stop. Donate or volunteer @AMarch4OurLives, @Everytown @MomsDemand and work towards a safer world.” The tweet received more than 7,100 likes and 1,200 retweets in less than one year (shown below, center). Senator Kamala Harris tweeted, Today, and every day we honor the victims of gun violence and fight for a future free from these tragedies. #WearOrange.” The tweet received more than 3,200 likes and 825 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below, right).