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Why We Wear Orange Today

Common Sense Kids Action supports the Wear Orange campaign for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Seven. That is the average number of children and teens who lose their lives to gun violence every day in our country. Gun violence is the second leading cause of death among children and teens.

At Common Sense, where we are dedicated to making kids America's top priority, we believe that everyone can agree that this is unacceptable. Therefore, as we mourn yesterday's loss of life on the UCLA campus -- and all lives lost to gun violence every day throughout the country -- we are supporting the Wear Orange campaign for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The Wear Orange campaign was inspired by a call to action by youth on the South Side of Chicago in the wake of their friend's tragic death in 2013. Only one week after marching in President Obama's second inaugural parade, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student, was shot in the back and killed while standing with friends in a park after taking her final exams. In response, a group of Hadiya's friends, including Nza-Ari Khepra, whom we honored with the Social Change Catalyst Award at the Common Sense Media Awards last month, founded Project Orange Tree.

Project Orange Tree executed a structural violence awareness campaign that asked all participants to wear orange. They chose the color because it's what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

Now Wear Orange is a national movement. Along with Common Sense, more than 300 leaders -- including more than 90 mayors from 28 states -- corporations, partner organizations, and a series of iconic landmarks including Coit Tower and the Empire State Building are participating in the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, what would have been Hadiya's 19th birthday. Look up tonight and, depending on your city, you may see your skyline turning orange.

Common Sense continues our commitment toward improving the lives of kids and putting our nation's children at the center of everything we do. Along with supporting efforts to reduce violence in communities, we continue to evaluate violence in the media as a core component of our worth through Common Sense Media.

If you're interested in learning more about the Wear Orange campaign and how to support commonsense solutions that will create safer communities and protect all our children from gun violence, please visit:

Stay informed about critical issues that affect kids by signing up to be a Kids Action advocate today.

Brooks Allen
Brooks Allen is Common Sense Kids Action’s Vice President for Policy and Legal Affairs. He joined Common Sense in December 2015, after serving the California State Board of Education as the Deputy Policy Director and Assistant Legal Counsel. He previously worked as the Director of Education Advocacy for the ACLU of Southern California and as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. He also served as a Deputy City Attorney in his hometown of Santa Cruz, California. Before attending law school, Brooks was an Upward Bound program coordinator, an admissions officer with Stanford University, and a policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Education. He has a B.A. in Political Science with distinction from Stanford University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.