Chicagoans call for an end to gun violence on ‘Wear Orange Day’

More than 200 people have been shot and killed in Chicago, so far this year.

Friday is Wear Orange Day, which supports “National Gun Violence Awareness Day.” It started after the senseless death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton in 2013.

Since then, “Wear Orange Day” has happened on her birthday — June 2. This year would’ve been her 26th birthday.

A large group met Friday afternoon outside Michele Clark High School, all wearing orange and raising their voices against gun violence.

“The spirit doesn’t die because if it had, I don’t think we would all be here,” said Pendleton’s mom Cleopatra Cowley.

Mayor Brandon Johnson also spoke about living in the Austin neighborhood and what Wear Orange Day means to him.

“Here’s what I’m encouraged by that the pain and the suffering that our communities have experienced over the course of decades of disinvestment, we’re not allowing that to stop us from bringing people together to bring about the investment so that we can finally put an end to this violence,” said Johnson.

The group marched up and down the streets of Austin and finally escaped the heat of the day inside the BUILD facility, a violence prevention center that stands for, “Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development.”

“In the memory of Hadiya Pendleton, your actions here at BUILD start to send the message that says we ain’t given up, we’re gonna fight all the way,” Sen. Dick Durbin told the crowd.

Another event for Hadiya will be held this weekend. The annual Party4Peace will start Saturday at 11 a.m. and go until 5 p.m. at Hadiya Pendleton Park.

Watch Fox 32 Chicago’s video coverage from BUILD’s March Against Gun Violence here.

Leave a Comment