The Essex County Group of Moms Demand Action hosted a “Wear Orange” event to recognize national Gun Violence Awareness Day on Sunday, June 3, on Sloan Street in South Orange. The afternoon featured music, speakers and information about how to get involved in the gun violence prevention movement. Many attendees wore orange to show their support.
Organizers explained that orange has become the color or gun violence awareness because hunters wear it in the woods to protect themselves and others from gunfire. When 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013, her friends decided to wear orange in her honor; since then it has been the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement.
Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca, South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and other Essex County leaders joined members of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, Rabbi Daniel Cohen representing the SOMA Interfaith Clergy, concerned citizens, and students to bring the city and suburbs together in unity to demand a future free from gun violence.