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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 2022?

In 2022, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with more than 200,000 social media posts throughout the weekend.

In 2022, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with more than 200,000 social media posts along with more than 1,500 corporate and nonprofit partner organizations, influencers, and elected officials such as Viacom, Levi Strauss & Co., Postmates, Amalgamated Bank, the American Academy of Pediatrics, AFT, HRC, President Obama, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Shonda Rhimes, Michelle Kwan, and 90 individual sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, the Nashville Predators, and the Washington Mystics. More than 300 buildings, billboards, and landmarks lit the skyline orange, while our grassroots volunteers hosted more than 350 events alongside more than 200 local partners in all 50 states plus DC.

When is Wear Orange in 2023?

In 2023, the 9th National Gun Violence Awareness Day will fall on June 2, the first Friday of the month.

That will kick off Wear Orange Weekend on June 3-4, 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 2

  1. Mark your calendars with a reminder to #WearOrange on June 2.
  2. Post to social media reminding everyone in your network to do the same on June 2. 
  3. Encourage your mayor to declare June 2, 2023 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 2

  1. Wear Orange: On June 2, 2023, 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 2. 
  3. Light your building orange on the evening of June 2.