Whether you think the left or the right has the answers, everyone agrees gun violence needs to go down. Across Michigan, and the country, the color orange is being displayed to raise awareness all across this weekend as part of “National Gun Violence Awareness Day.”
As part of that day more than 400 influencers, corporations, mayors, partner organizations and a series of iconic landmarks across the country participated in the Wear Orange campaign the weekend of June 2-4. Many of them were in Michigan.
“Gun violence kills more than 90 Americans a day and injures hundreds more,” says the Wear Orange campaign. “That’s why Americans across the country will Wear Orange—a color that demands to be seen—to send the powerful message that there is more we can do to end gun violence.”
Wear Orange 2017 started on Thursday, June 1, with buildings across the country turning orange, including the Empire State Building. Here in Metro Detroit, it was Affirmations in Ferndale and Todd’s Room in Birmingham.
Yesterday, June 2, saw a wide range of civic leaders wearing orange to draw attention to gun violence. It included the Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills, the Church of the Messiah in Detroit, and a whole host of Michigan mayors who joined over 1,000 mayors across the country.
Our state was represented by:
· Ken Massey – Farmington Hills
· David Coulter – Ferndale
· Kenson J. Siver – Southfield
· Bobby Hopewell – Kalamazoo
· John Murphy – Petoskey
· Peter Strazdas – Portage
There was also Wear Orange Concert in Bloomfield Hills on June 2, with performances by Matt Watroba, Michael and Libby of Mustard’s Retreat), Stewart Francke, Jim Bizer and the Church of the Messiah Marching Band. It was put on by Birmingham Unitarian Church and some its ministries – BUC Social Justice Ministry and MAMA’s Coffeehouse – and Moms Demand Action of Oakland/Macomb and took place at Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills
On Saturday, June 3, there was a march and rally with U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, State Rep. Donna Lasinski, County Prosecutor Brian Mackie, and Wear Orange partner, the Washtenaw County chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America..
In Saginaw on Sunday, June 4, there is a Wear Orange Barbeque and Peace Park dedication from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Zion Evangelical Church.
Across the country there were more than 250 events over the weekend.
“It’s truly incredible to watch this movement grow year after year – it has morphed from a moment my friends and I dreamed up to honor Hadiya to a national movement, with events in ,every state,” says Nza-Ari Khepra, founder of Project Orange Tree and co-creator of Wear Orange. “I’m so grateful to the thousands of Americans who will turn out to turn their communities orange this weekend. Their passion for saving lives from gun violence inspires me to keep going and demanding change.”
Wear Orange started when the friends of gunshot victim and 15-year-old Chicago high school student Hadiya Pendleton wore orange to honor her memory – the worn by hunters to protect themselves from gunfire.
It quickly spread and the loving gesture is magnified across the country for Pendleton’s birthday on June 2.
Last year more than 300 noteworthy individuals and organizations, including President Obama, Julianne Moore, Kim Kardashian West, Vogue and Viacom answered the call, making their support for the movement loud and clear. Across the country, nearly 250,000 people took action online and in person at events.
This year promises to reach much, much further – the skyline was the limit. Landmarks across the country – including the Empire State Building and Niagara Falls – went orange in support of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Full details on Wear Orange 2017 are available here.