HHS VIP Team Takes Part in ‘Wear Orange Weekend,’ Recognizing Victims of Gun Violence

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Haverhill High School’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Team—known as VIP Haverhill—is asking everyone to Wear Orange this weekend to recognize the victims of gun violence.

Wear Orange Weekend days are Friday, June 3, through Sunday, June 5, and take place in conjunction with National Gun Violence Awareness Day June 3. Students ask participants to wear orange and share details on social media.

Wear Orange began June 2, 2015 on what would have been Hadiya Pendleton’s 18th birthday. Pendleton marched in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade Jan. 21, 2013 and was shot and killed a week later on a playground in Chicago.

According to national organizers, Pendleton’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Wear Orange is now observed every June. Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Pendleton and the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini is also expected to deliver a proclamation today at Haverhill High School and place orange lights in City Hall windows.

The Violence Intervention and Prevention program began in 2005 at Haverhill High School. It has grown to include students of all ages and partners with various groups and organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill, UTEC and YMCA.

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