June 1 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day and the beginning of #WearOrange weekend. The movement began in 2015 when 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed just a week after performing at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade in 2013.
Pendelton’s friends wanted to honor her legacy by starting the Wear Orange movement. They chose to memorialize her in June because that was her birth month, and they chose orange because that is the color hunters wear to protect themselves from being accidentally shot.
Everytown for Gun Safety took over the logistics of the campaign with the objective of “do[ing] life-saving work so that we can get closer to realizing a future free of gun violence,” according to their official website. The weekend-long event includes rallies, marches, and barbecues.
This year, the Wear Orange weekend coincides with the Governor’s Ball Festival in New York City. The musicians performing were encouraged to wear orange, display videos about gun violence and donate money to Everytown for Gun Safety. Additionally, Wear Orange t-shirts will be available at the festival.
Many celebrities, both involved in the festival and not, have expressed their support of the movement through posts on Instagram and Twitter.
Acclaimed news anchor Katie Couric posted about the campaign this year.
Actress and activist Alyssa Milano conveyed her support by focusing in on one specific victim.
Milano also encouraged her Twitter followers to get involved by imploring them to share their experiences.
Another actress and activist, Julianne Moore, provided her fans with the number of Everytown for Gun Safety to encourage them to get involved.
Broadway star Ben Platt posted his contribution to the movement.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed her support from a government perspective.
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill shared a collection of pictures in honor of the movement.
View this post on Instagram
My family and i #wearorange because more children have BEEN KILLED BY GUNS SINCE SANDY HOOK THAN U.S. SOLDIERS IN COMBAT SINCE 9/11.-Newsweek. All my love thinking of Mayci and Jillian and all of the parents and sisters and daughters and sons I’ve met who have lost their loved one to gun violence. @everytown
Comedian Amy Schumer posted a photo with her family for the weekend.
View this post on Instagram
I am traveling and don’t have anything orange to wear but I still wanted to be a part of today. Today I #wearorange to remember all those who have died, especially in schools, churches and movie theatres- spaces in which I grew up feeling safe but where the current generation cannot. I wear orange because, as per @newsweek, more children have been killed by guns since Sandy Hook than U.S. soldiers in combat since 9/11. I know Hollywood plays a part in the glamorization of guns, and that is something I am dealing with in recognition that change begins from within. I would humbly like to remind everyone that movies are not real life, and the people who can’t tell the different are exactly the people adequate mental health screening would help prevent from getting a gun. I also want to thank all the responsible gun owners who do not feel threatened by the call for common sense gun laws. We need your voices more than ever. @everytown Peace- and policy change- xx
Actress Anne Hathaway contributed to the movement with a paragraph about its importance.
Actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus expressed her support by offering statistics.
All of the celebrities who have posted about the #WearOrange movement have helped bring attention to its significance and urgency. We should encourage the fight against gun violence this weekend and every other one.