More Than 450 Events Took Place Across All 50 States and Washington D.C. Throughout Wear Orange Weekend; President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Illuminated the White House in Orange on National Gun Violence Awareness Day
Wear Orange 2023 Participants Included More Than 1,500 Partners, Sports Teams, Influencers, Landmarks, and Elected Officials
NEW YORK — During National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2 and Wear Orange Weekend, June 3–4, more than 1,500 partner organizations, influencers, corporate brands, elected officials, and landmarks joined hundreds of thousands of Americans to honor victims and survivors of gun violence and demand a future free from gun violence.
Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015 — what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 18th birthday. It began with teenagers who wanted to honor their friend, Hadiya, after she was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago a little over one week after marching as a majorette in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. Now, Wear Orange honors Hadiya and the 120 people shot and killed every day in the United States, as well as the hundreds more who are shot and wounded and the countless others who witness acts of gun violence. Advocates across the country united to call for an end to all forms of gun violence, including domestic violence, firearm suicide, mass shootings, police shootings, city gun violence, and more.
Support for the Wear Orange campaign and National Gun Violence Awareness Day continues to expand each year. Full details on Wear Orange 2023 are available here. Highlights of the weekend include:
- Thousands of gun violence survivors, grassroots volunteers from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in collaboration with the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and more than 160 local partners, hosted more than 450 events and activities in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The events ranged from a peace walk and yoga class in Los Angeles, CA, to rallies in Cincinnati, OH, Pittsburgh, PA and Alexandria, VA, to memorials in Buffalo, NY and East St. Louis, IL, to gardening in Baltimore, MD and Charlotte, NC, to walks across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, NY and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA, to community gatherings in Atlanta, GA, Oklahoma City, OK, Fargo, ND and Las Vegas, NV.
- President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden illuminated the White House in orange on Friday, June 2 in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange weekend. Vice President Kamala Harris, joined by US Education Secretary Miguel Cardonas, hosted a National Gun Violence Awareness Day event in Springfield, Virginia while Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts participated in the Washington Mystics’ Wear Orange Youth Basketball Clinic.
- More than 180 proclamations were issued across 24 states declaring Friday June 2 National Gun Violence Awareness Day, including proclamations by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, and in cities like Tulsa, OK, Helena, MT, Toledo, OH, Salina, KS, Plano, TX, Flagstaff, AZ, Mercer Co., NJ, and East Providence, RI.
- More than 50 cultural figures like Former President Barack Obama marked #WearOrange this weekend, including Julianne Moore, Bette Midler, Lily Collins, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Laura Dern, Melissa Joan Hart, Demi Moore, Kyra Sedgwick, Jimmy Kimmel, Mariska Hargitay, Natalie Morales, Jason George, Chrissy Teigen, Amy Schumer, Candice King, Kenneth Cole, Rachel Bloom, Andy Richter, Hailey Bieber, Meena Harris, Bon Iver, Cynthia Rowley, Maria Shriver, Andrew Bird, Michael Ian Black, Pearl Jam, Aly & AJ, Michael Franti, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Manish Dayal, Derek Blasberg, Katie McGrath, host of The 11th Hour on MSNBC Stephanie Ruhle and the hosts of The View Ana Navarro, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, and Joy Behar.
- More than 350 landmarks, buildings and billboards across the country turned orange, including the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, Coit Tower, Aloha Tower, The Nashville Sign, Lamar Advertising Company digital billboards, and over 30 stadiums and arenas.
- Wear Orange partnered with the professional sports community in a big way again this year, including support from more than 65 individual teams, representing every major professional league, and dozens of individual athletes, including Everytown Athletic Council members Alejandro Bedoya, Natasha Cloud, Meghan Klingenberg, Brandon Short, Diontae Spencer, and Delanie Walker. The WNBPA led the way again this year with player-led engagement across the entire League. An unprecedented number of WNBA, MLB, and NWSL teams — including the Connecticut Sun, Houston Dash, Phoenix Mercury, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Washington Mystics, and Washington Nationals — hosted survivors, volunteers, and community activists at their home games this weekend. NFL, NBA, and MLS teams, from the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, and San Antonio Spurs to the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers to the Minnesota United FC, Philadelphia Union, and the San Jose Earthquakes participated in awareness raising campaigns that included lighting up their stadiums or arenas orange, posting player testimonials on social media, and elevating the work of community based partners.
- Corporate brands that supported Wear Orange included Bad Robot, Parents, Penguin Random House, CAA Foundation, UTA Foundation and Wasserman. In addition, media brands like OBB Media, Care.com and Rolling Stone joined the campaign for the first time this year.
- More than 150 federal lawmakers and at least 350 state level elected officials supported Wear Orange on social media and at local events across multiple branches of government, including House Democratic Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Maxwell Frost (D-FL). Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) introduced resolutions recognizing June 2 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 and was cosponsored by over 120 members of Congress.
- In honor of Wear Orange, Everytown Support Fund once again is partnering with community organizations in collaboration with local Moms Demand Action groups to fund and provide support to 10 unique Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) projects across the country through the Everytown Community Safety Fund. Grant recipients are partner organizations who have been engaged in performing lifesaving work across communities heavily impacted by gun violence for years. This year’s 2023 grantees are Advancement Corporation Community Center in Lansing, MI, Heal Charlotte in Charlotte, NC, All I Know Foundation in Los Angeles, CA, Carpenter Art Garden in Memphis, TN, Summer Leadership Academy in Chicago, IL, Speakezie Go Hard in Cleveland, OH, Clean the Block in Dallas, TX, Let’s Thrive Baltimore in Baltimore, MD, Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation in Brooklyn, NY, and Home Beneath Our Feet in Buffalo, NY.
- More than 300 mayors from across the country participated in the Wear Orange campaign including Mayor Brandon Scott (Baltimore, MD), Mayor Quinton Lucas (Kansas City, MO), Mayor Tishaura Jones (St. Louis, MO), Mayor Regina Romero (Tucson, AZ) and Mayor Justin Bibb (Cleveland, OH) by issuing proclamations declaring June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day, lighting municipal landmarks orange, posting on social media and participating in local events.
- More than 100 non-profit organizations and faith partners across various issue areas joined the coalition of organizations turning orange over the weekend, with groups like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Next Gen America, American Academy of Pediatrics, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, Injury Free Coalition for Kids, United State of Women, Stop AAPI Hate, Do Something, National PTA, Hispanic Federation, and many more taking part in Wear Orange.