SUMMIT, NJ - On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, she was shot and killed.

Orange is the color a group of Hadiya’s friends chose to wear to remember her life. They chose orange because that’s what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.
 
What started in a south side high school to celebrate Hadiya has turned into a nationwide movement to honor all lives cut short by gun violence. "Wear Orange'" is also a celebration of life – and a call to action to help save lives from gunfire. June 2 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
 
 
"Wear Orange" was created to make it easier for people to show their support for common sense solutions that will save lives. The organization's call to action is, "Be creative. Be loud. Wear Orange."
 
Now, Summit resident Lacey Rzeszowski is serving as a catalyst to encourage the Hilltop City to #WearOrange.

"On June 2, in urban communities across the US, buildings and bridges will be lit orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day, but I kept thinking, 'What about the 'burbs?',” said Rzeszowski. "We are trying to reach as many people as possible in a very short time window, through grassroots organizers’ personal networks, exposure to merchants’ client bases, and faith leaders’ congregational connections."

According to Rzeszowski, grassroots organizers today began their campaign by blanketing the community with e-blasts with more emails and social media shares to follow as June approaches.



Postcards and flyers have been distributed to downtown businesses, and select Summit merchants are taking support and promotion to elevated levels, including MONDO, The Bar Method, LoYa Yoga, Zoku Salon, Dor L’Dor, The Teapot, and Willow St..

The Unitarian Church in Summit is promoting the initiative through their network, and assisting in anchoring other faith leaders, while also providing visual exposure on front of the Church on Springfield Avenue.
 
For more information about the #WearOrange movement, visit wearorange.org.