Okayplayer, a website launched in 1999 by Questlove of the Roots, has thrown their hat into the ring of social protest with a new campaign that aims to end gun violence. The site, teaming up with Everytown, is posting photographs of artists who performed at the Roots’ annual summer music festival in Philadelphia, the Roots Picnic, this summer, with each artist holding an orange sign that reads: “We can end gun violence.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Everytown, according to their website, the organization “is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.”
Musicians who are involved with this campaign include Anderson .Paak, Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Questlove, Leon Bridges, Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, Zoe Kravitz, Prince Paul and more. You can view all of the images on Okayplayer’s site.
In addition to the images, Okayplayer also posted an open letter to America in which they lay out the facts and reasons for the new campaign.
“There is an issue that needs to be addressed in this country. An issue that cuts across race, class and region. At the root of it all is the easy access to guns that affects small towns and big cities, that touches us here in New York as much as Aurora, Colorado and has increased the mortality rate in places such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Baton Rouge.
According to Everytown, 51 women are shot to death by intimate partners in an act of domestic violence in an average month. Seven children and teens are killed daily with guns in the U.S. These are more than enough reasons to call for gun reform, yet we already know that Washington gun lobbyists and the NRA are betting against change. We believe our collective voices can still be stronger than the dollars spent in silencing them. We and the special individuals represented in this gallery are challenging you, America, to wear orange in tribute to Hadiya Pendleton‘s life and raise awareness and to join the nonprofit’s campaign to speak out against gun violence.”
Okayplayer has posted a couple of the images on their Instagram, but the full gallery is on display on their website. There is also a call for people to share their own stories and thoughts on gun violence in the comments section.