Miami-Dade County

A statement against gun violence: wearing orange

Supporters wear orange and participate in a rally in Boston as part of last year’s inaugural National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The Children’s Trust sent an e-mail in support of this year’s day, which will take place on June 2.
Supporters wear orange and participate in a rally in Boston as part of last year’s inaugural National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The Children’s Trust sent an e-mail in support of this year’s day, which will take place on June 2. wearorange.com

Thursday is a day to look for orange in your closet.

Several advocacy groups are using the color to make a point: No more gun violence.

Organizations in South Florida and across the country are marking National Gun Violence Awareness Day with orange.

This marks the second year of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which started at a high school on the south side of Chicago in memory of Hadiya Pendelton, who was shot and killed at age 15 in January 2013, one week after marching in President Barack Obama’s second inauguration parade.

Pendelton’s friends chose to hold the day on June 2 last year, which would have been Pendelton’s 18th birthday. It has blossomed into a national movement.

Pendelton’s friends “chose orange because that’s what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others,” according to the Wear Orange website.

In Miami-Dade, the Children’s Trust sent an e-mail Tuesday expressing its support of National Gun Violence Awareness Day and the Wear Orange campaign.

“The creation of this entire campaign rings very close to the hearts of all of us in Miami Dade county,” Children’s Trust Director of Communications Emily Cardenas said. “We have seen so many young people dying here in Miami-Dade County that it seems a natural thing for all of us to embrace.”

This will be the Children’s Trust’s first year of public support for National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The Children’s Trust will participate in a Thursday afternoon news conference at Miami-Dade County Police headquarters, along with United Way of Miami-Dade and Crime Stoppers to recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Day and launch the Crime Stoppers Kids campaign.

Crime Stoppers Kids is a “new fund created specifically to encourage tips around violent crimes that hurt or kill young people,” Cardenas said.

Several other Florida cities will also hold events.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert are among 100 mayors nationwide who agreed to wear Orange Thursday in support of the campaign.

Several state landmarks, such as the Miami Tower, Fort Lauderdale’s Bank of America Plaza at Las Olas City Center and Orlando’s Amway Center Spire will turn orange.

There will also be seven events, termed Orange meet-ups, across Florida on Thursday, including a 5:30 p.m. event at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove.

Last year, several celebrities, including actress Julianne Moore and comedian Sarah Silverman, wore orange. Several organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Amnesty International, supported the campaign. And Major League Baseball’s New York Mets took a team picture in orange shirts to express their support.

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