Teens Don Orange For Gun Safety In Chicago

Project Orange Tree asks Chicagoans to wear orange April 1 to speak out about violence

A group of students are banding together against Chicago gun violence using a color that's known in the hunting world as a safety hue.

"The color orange is used because hunters wear the color to warn other hunters not to shoot," a mission statement for the group reads. "We took that same concept and applied it to the violence in Chicago."

Project Orange Tree, created by local teens and backed in part by the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, describes itself as an awareness campaign to educate kids about violence and the social structures that lead to violence. The tree, they say, represents life and prosperity.

"In order to make a difference, the citizens of the world have to correctly identify the root problem of violence, and find ways fix them, or build a bridge over it. Project Orange Tree is doing this."

The group urges everyone, especially students, to wear orange on April 1 to help spread the message and create unity for the purpose of peace.

Local rapper Lupe Fiasco furthered the movement online, taking to Twitter to rally Bulls stars and local performers to join the cause: "Yo @JoakimNoah @drose the youth of Chicago are coming together April 1st as @Pro_OrangeTree 2 help combat violence in the city"

The group's Twitter account exceeded 1,000 followers as of Tuesday morning.

Fiasco is notoriously outspoken about local violence, even dedicating a recent song to young victim, Jonylah Watkins, who was shot in her family's van earlier this month.

Chicago violence grabbed national headlines this year after teen Hadiya Pendleton was killed while hanging out with friends at a South Side park, days after performing at President Barack Obama's inaugural events.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy announced Monday the city plans to use new police academy graduates to patrol high crime areas on foot in an effort to quell gang violence.

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