Justice and Peace Issues

National Gun Violence Awareness Day

It began on June 2, 2015, on what would have been the 18th birthday of Hadiya Pendleton. Pendleton was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago, on January 29, 2013, she was barely 15 and just a week earlier she had performed at Obama’s second presidential inauguration. Since 2015, the movement has significantly expanded, and it is now a period of three days a year: National Gun Violence Awareness Day (the first Friday in June) and Wear Orange Weekend (the following weekend).
Not long after Pendleton was shot and killed, her childhood friends began to wear orange as a tribute and commemoration of her life, as orange is the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Statistically, when comparing to other high-income countries, specifically Canada, Australia and the UK, America has a much higher gun-related deaths per homicide. In the U.S., children between the ages of 1 and 19 are more likely to die by gun violence than any other cause, including cancer, car accidents and drug overdoses.

Nuns Against Gun Violence was founded in April 2023 to bring together congregations of Catholic sisters to speak with a united voice against the crisis of gun violence. More than 60 communities are involved in building this collaborative, which meets bi-weekly to share resources and events and plan advocacy efforts.

Nuns Against Gun Violence is a coalition of Catholic Sisters and their allies that affirms the value of human life through prayer, education, and advocacy for common sense, evidence-based, gun violence prevention.
Read Sister Mary Ann Zimmer’s blog I Invite You to Share a Burden where she offers personal reflection and resources.

Resources for June’s National Gun Violence Awareness Week can be found on the Resources page!
Listen to a podcast, or read an article by NAGV’s Angela Howard McParland in the winter issue of “A Matter of Spirit” – the entire contents focused on gun violence – published by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center.





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