June 13, 2019 Blog

We Wore Orange!

On Sunday, June 9, hundreds of gun violence prevention advocates gathered in Sam Smith park in Seattle to participate in national “Wear Orange” day. This is a day to honor and remember Hadiya Pendleton who was shot and killed at the age of 15, just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration. Hadiya’s friends chose to wear orange – Hadiya’s favorite color – to mourn their friend. Since then, orange has been adopted as the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement.

The rally featured 14 amazing speakers from all over the country with only one thing in common: intimate experience with gun violence. The lineup included:

  • Manuel and Patricia Oliver: who lost their son Joaquin in the Parkland shooting;
  • Robert Schentrup: an activist and founder of Zero USA and brother to Parkland victim Carmen Schentrup;
  • Gerad Tsutakawa: artist and creator of the Urban Peace Circle sculpture found in Sam Smith park which is dedicated to child victims of gun violence;
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA7), and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA1): elected gun violence prevention champions;
  • Judy Schneider-Wallace: gun violence survivor who lost her husband to suicide by firearm;
  • Ray Miller: US Air Force veteran and President and Founder of Vets Place Northwest;
  • Nara Kim: President of March for Our Lives – Seattle;
  • Ola Jackson: Advocate with We Won’t Be Next;
  • Keaton Dickinson Jr.: Lead for West Seattle Student Demand Action;
  • Kyungmin Yook: Lead for Pierce Students Demand Action; and
  • Ruqaiyah Damrah: Co-Lead for Seattle Students Demand Action.

Special thanks goes to Jane, Charlene and all the Wear Orange lead organizers!

–Logan Rysemus is the Advocacy Organizer at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.