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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.

What did Wear Orange look like in 2023?

In 2023, more than 450 events took place across all 50 states and Washington D.C. throughout Wear Orange weekend; with President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden illuminating the White House in orange.

In 2023, more than 1,500 partner organizations, influencers, and corporate brands honored National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange weekend, including Julianne Moore, Bette Midler, Mariska Hargitay, Jimmy Kimmel, Jason George, Washington Mystics, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco Giants, Rolling Stone, and Penguin Random House. More than 150 federal lawmakers and at least 350 state level elected officials supported Wear Orange, including Vice President Kamala Harris, House Democratic Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), Mayor Brandon Scott, and Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL-02) 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. More than 300 buildings, billboards, and landmarks, including the White House, lit the skyline orange, while our grassroots volunteers hosted more than 350 events alongside more than 200 local partners in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

When is Wear Orange in 2024?

In 2024, the 10th National Gun Violence Awareness Day will fall on June 7, the first Friday of the month.

That will kick off Wear Orange Weekend on June 7-9, which will feature virtual and in-person 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 7

  1. Mark your calendars with a reminder to #WearOrange on June 7.
  2. Post to social media reminding everyone in your network to do the same on June 7. 
  3. Encourage your mayor to declare the first Friday in June as Gun Violence Awareness Day in your city or town.
  4. Determine the best way to #WearOrange in your community: attending a local event, 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 7

  1. Wear Orange: On June 7, 2024, 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…”
  • “in honor of my beloved child, [XXX].”
  • “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 7. 
  3. Light your building orange on the evening of June 7.