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Leaders: Fight Indy violence, promote peace with orange clothes and lights

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Wearing orange, lighting your home or business orange, giving testimony on being peaceful, and a kickball tournament are ways Indianapolis leaders on Wednesday will ask people to observe National Gun Violence Awareness Month.

For Wednesday’s event, people were asked RSVP for the kickoff at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Clowes Auditorium at the Indianapolis Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. That’s off Meridian Street north of the American Legion Mall. The kickoff hopes to highlight ways people can promote peace in their communities.

The Indy Public Safety Foundation and the Indianapolis government’s Office of Public Health and Safety say in a news release that the groups will launch a citywide campaign for gun violence awareness during June. People will be asked to use the hashtag #IChoosePeace on social media during the Indianapolis campaign.

Also, people will be asked to wear orange or light their homes orange on Friday “to honor the survivors, the more than 120 lives cut short, and the hundreds more wounded by gun violence every day,” says a tweet sent Friday by the Marion County Youth Violence Prevention Coalition.

On Friday, the Wear Orange Kickoff, organized by Moms Demand Action of Indianapolis, will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Walnut Street/Orange Bridge on the downtown canal. The group advocates for gun control and against gun violence.

On Saturday, the Purpose 4 My Pain-Kicking the Grief Kickball Tournament will be at Shelter 1 at Watkins Park, 2360 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street. The kickball tournament from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday was designed to honor the victims of gun violence.

People also will be asked to post on an online digital wall to tell why they choose peace. People who give their testimony also will be asked to give their names, ZIP code, a photo, and an email address.

People expected to attend the Wednesday event include Democrat Mayor Joe Hogsett; Romy Bernard-Tucker, director of the city government’s Office of Public Health and Safety; Dane Nutty, executive director of the Indy Public Safety Foundation; and Jeffrey Harrison, the chief executive officer of Citizens Energy Group and the board chair of the Indy Public Safety Foundation. 

Nationally, Wear Orange began in 2015 after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was fatally shot in a Chicago playground in 2013, days after she’d marched in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural parade. June 2, 2015, would have been Pendleton’s 18th birthday.

Everytown For Gun Safety, a nonprofit supporting gun control and opposing gun violence, is asking people to share their orange gear and lights with the hashtag #WearOrange. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who sought the Democratic nod for president in 2020, largely finances Everytown for Gun Safety.

News release

Mayor Joe Hogsett Kicks off #IChoosePeace Campaign for National Gun Violence Awareness Month 

Citywide campaign aims to promote community action against gun violence 

“INDIANAPOLIS – This afternoon Mayor Joe Hogsett joined partners and the Indy Peace Fellowship, a partnership between the Indy Public Safety Foundation and the City’s Office of Public Health and Safety, to announce the launch of the #IChoosePeace campaign in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Month this June. This campaign aims to promote peace, spread awareness, and empower individuals and organizations to act against gun violence in our community.  

“‘We all have a role to play in a safer Indianapolis,’ said Mayor Joe Hogsett. ‘Whether by volunteering or donating to local groups dedicated to peace, reaching out to peers and family members to encourage safe behavior, or by sharing personal stories of choosing the path of nonviolence, we encourage every resident of our city to proudly proclaim their choice for a more peaceful city.’

“The campaign will kick off on June 1. The #IChoosePeace campaign encourages individuals, businesses, schools, and community leaders to commit to peace and safety by taking a pledge to reduce gun violence in Indianapolis. Residents will see orange throughout Indy and have the opportunity to raise their hand for peace through community events and pop-up activations all month long. In addition, the campaign provides a platform for people to share their personal experiences and offer resources to support those impacted by gun violence. 

“‘We are bringing together every sector of our community through the #IChoosePeace campaign, working collaboratively to drive awareness and establish a culture of collective action around gun violence in our city,’ said Dane Nutty, President and CEO of the Indy Public Safety Foundation. ‘We are proud of the impact Indy Peace Fellowship staff and partners have made in the last 15 months and look forward to growing our reach with individuals and organizations through this campaign.’

“Here are ways individuals and families can take a proactive approach to promote peace in their communities: 

  • Spread Awareness: Encourage your friends and family to join you in choosing peace over violence in your community through social media using the hashtag #IChoosePeace, adding their personal commitment to the virtual Peace Pledge Wall at or partaking in community events supporting peace.  
  • Check in on your People: Model peace-forward behavior and promote a culture of safety and responsibility in your community by proactively reaching out to your friends, family, and community members through the Postcards for Peace initiative. 
  • Get Involved: Learn about organizations across the city that are committed to peace and gun violence reduction, and volunteer your time or resources. 
  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the impact of gun violence on individuals and communities from personal accounts and share your knowledge with others. 

“Mayor Hogsett originally announced the #IChoosePeace campaign as part of his public safety address on May 25.

“To learn more about how residents can become active in the campaign and sign the pledge to choose peace, visit”

News release from Indy Public Safety Foundation and Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety, at 4:05 p.m. May 31, 2023

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