Five Ways to Participate in National Gun Violence Awareness Day 2016

On June 2, millions of people across the county will be observing the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange Day. On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton – a majorette and high school student from the South Side of Chicago – marched in President Obama’s Second Inaugural Parade.  One week later, after finishing final exams, Hadiya was shot and killed in a park near her school.  Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends asked their classmates to commemorate Hadiya’s life by wearing orange.  They chose the color orange to symbolize the value of human life, as hunters wear orange in the woods to protect themselves and others. This call to action from Hadiya’s classmates has grown into a national movement, and orange is becoming the symbol of gun safety. In June 2013, Women of Reform Judaism's Board of Directors issued a statement on gun violence prevention calling upon its members to continue to educate constituencies, congregations, and communities to become knowledgeable advocates for strong gun violence prevention measures; and work jointly with temple youth groups to the same end. Last year, the Reform Movement participated in the first ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and this year, the RAC and NFTY are once again working with Everytown for Gun Safety and dozens of other organizations, to draw awareness, to educate and to take action to prevent gun violence. Here are five ways that you and your sisterhood can get involved with Wear Orange this year:

  1. Wear Orange and Share! On June 2, wear a piece (or more) of orange clothing to show your support for gun violence awareness. At some point during the day, take a picture of yourself, share it on social media and tell us why you are wearing orange. Be sure to tag us in your post (@theRAC, @NFTY) and use #WearOrange. Here are some examples of Reform Jews showing their support on June 2, 2015.
  2. Change your profile picture: Create your own #WearOrange image through the official Wear Orange website, and share it on Facebook or Twitter to show everyone why you’re committed to ending gun violence in America.
  3. Contact Your Members of Congress: Currently, many people are still able to legally purchase guns at gun shows and online, even if they would be prohibited from doing so in a store. On June 2, urge your Members of Congress to support legislation which would improve our background check system on gun sales, further preventing gun violence.
  4. Join NFTY and take direct action to prevent gun violence: On June 2, NFTY is working with our partners at Metro IAF’s Do Not Stand Idly by campaign and is scheduling meetings to ask mayors in 11 different cities to use their purchasing power to prevent gun violence. Click here if you would like to learn more about how to join one of these mayoral meetings.
  5. Incorporate gun violence awareness into Shabbat: Join the Reform Movement’s participation in National Gun Violence Awareness Day by using our new Wear Orange Shabbat Toolkit in your congregation or home.

To learn more about NFTY’s involvement in Wear Orange, visit their webpage. To learn more about gun violence prevention, visit the RAC’s issue page. This post originally appeared on the RAC's Blog 

Published: 5/09/2016

Categories: Our Partnerships, Reform Movement, Affiliates, Our Social Justice