Campaign to wear orange aims to stop violence, remember Hadiya Pendelton

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two years after the shooting death of Hadiya Pendelton on the South Side, the teenager's friends have started a project aimed at stopping gun violence.

As part of Project Orange Tree, organizers are recruiting people worldwide to wear orange next Tuesday - the day would have been Pendelton's 18th birthday.

"We took orange and decided that it was our way of telling the world that we don't want to be the next victim of Chicago gun violence," said Nza-Ari Khepra, who was friends with Pendleton.

Pendleton, a King High School student was shot after leaving school while with friends in a park. The shooting happened less than a mile from President Obama's house and just days after Pendelton returned from performing at the President's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Celebrities, including Julianne Moore and Russell Simmons, as well as politicians have signed on to wear orange -- all inspired by Pendleton and other victims of gun violence.

Her friends believe this effort will help save lives.

"This is definitely a thing that could make a difference because the first step is awareness," Khepra said.

The two people charged with Pendleton's murder are still awaiting trial.

First Lady Michelle Obama will speak at King High School graduation this year -- something that Pendleton would have been a part of.
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