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How did Wear Orange start?

On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015—what would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Now, it is observed nationally on the first Friday in June and the following weekend each year. In the years since, participation in Wear Orange has increased tenfold.

What did Wear Orange look like in 2020?

In 2020, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with over 150,000 Americans taking part.

In 2020, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with over 150,000 Americans taking part along with more than 300 corporate and nonprofit partners such as Viacom, Levi Strauss & Co., Postmates, Amalgamated Bank, the American Academy of Pediatrics, AFT, and HRC, and some of the most impactful thought and culture leaders in the country—including President Obama, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Jason George, Pearl Jam, and 25 individual sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Bruins, and the Washington Mystics. More than 100 buildings and landmarks lit the skyline orange across 40 states + DC, including a record 11 stadiums and arenas, while our grassroots volunteers hosted more than 270 virtual events in all 50 states plus DC.

When is Wear Orange in 2021?

In 2021, the 7th National Gun Violence Awareness Day will fall on June 4, the first Friday of the month. 

That will kick off Wear Orange Weekend on June 5-6, which will feature virtual events across the nation.

From the south side of Chicago, to community organizers in Queens, to students around the country, we will come together to wear orange and demand a change. 

How can I participate?

Before June 4

  1. Mark your calendars with a reminder to #WearOrange on June 4.
  2. Post to social media reminding everyone in your network to do the same on June 4. 
  3. Encourage your mayor to declare June 4, 2021 as Gun Violence Awareness Day in your city or town.
  4. Determine the way you can #WearOrange at home: think about chalking your sidewalk, turning your porch light Orange, placing a homemade sign in your window, or anything else that lets your community know how you feel about the crisis of gun violence.

On June 4

  1. Wear Orange: On June 4, 2021, wear or hold anything Orange (a pin, a scarf, an orange, or be creative and hold up any Orange item in your home that strikes your fancy), take a selfie and share it via social media with the hashtag #WearOrange. 
  2. Make a dedication: One of the most powerful parts of the campaign are the online  dedications users post to share why they’re taking part. Examples include: “Today, I will #WearOrange…”
  • “because gun violence in the era of COVID-19 is even more lethal.”
  • “in honor of my beloved son, Jordan.”
  • “because I’m a hunter, and I know gun safety saves lives.”
  • “because organizations like [xxx] continue to make a difference and reduce gun violence in my community every day”

How can my company or brand participate?

  1. Turn your logo, social media avatars and/or website orange.
  2. Tout your work connected to this movement—that could be content that promotes gun safety or orange products that people can wear on June 4. 
  3. Light your building orange on the evening of June 4.
  4. Ask your employees to wear orange and share photos on social media with the hashtag #WearOrange. If you would like to purchase official #WearOrange merchandise for your company, please email [email protected]