“Wear Orange” Gun Violence Prevention Weekend Honors Hadiya Pendleton – NBC Chicago

Sounding the call to end gun violence, crowds donned orange attire at Bronzeville Park named after Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old Chicago teenager who was fatally shot in 2013 just weeks after she was performed at the second inauguration of former President Barack Obama.

Pendleton’s parents were among those who took part in the three-day “Wear Orange Weekend” event where people are encouraged to wear orange – Hadiya’s favorite color – to push for a future without armed violence.

This year, in the wake of multiple recent tragedies, the fight to end gun violence has never been more urgent, according to the “Wear Orange” website.

“If we don’t act, this will continue,” said Nate Pendleton, Hadiya’s father.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was in attendance and delivered a similar message.

“It starts with us,” she said. “Some parents, guardians, caring adults who are a part of these children’s lives. We need to reinforce community values ​​and norms.”

In an effort to reduce gun violence in the city, leaders have long encouraged safe activities, such as participating in the tumbling team of White, who has mentored more than 18,500 children during his 63 years.

“I’m happy to be here to share with people in our community…and show them how high we can get without herbs and spices,” White said.

Shortly after Hadiya’s death, her friends all wore orange, which is also the same color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves from gunfire. Since then, the “Wear Orange” movement has become a nationally recognized campaign in the fight against gun violence.

“It’s a way of saying it without saying ‘don’t shoot me.’ And I love the symbolism,” said Cleopatra Pendleton, Hadiya’s mother.

Community members in attendance and Hadiya’s family are committed to carrying on her legacy and making Chicago a safer place.

“We should be able to have fun in every neighborhood and not get shot,” said Nate Pendleton.

NBC Chicago

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