Roanoke City Leaders sign proclamation declaring Gun Violence Awareness Day

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 6:56 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - For the first time ever, Roanoke City will recognize national Gun Violence Awareness Day.

On the first Friday in June and over that entire weekend, thousands will wear the color orange. It is a time to honor victims and bring awareness, and it’s an invitation to take action.

The non-profit Families Expecting Deliverance Using Prayer - also known as FEDUP - led the efforts. Each year the group hosts a prayer breakfast during that weekend, but this year they want to get the entire community involved.

“We got to figure out how to end the gun violence. We can’t do it all for the whole world, country or for any other state, but we can do it for little ol’ Roanoke,” said FEDUP Co-Founder Rita Joyce. “Roanoke is too small to be having as many gun violence and victims of gun violence and even just gun shootings period.”

Leaders were expected to sign the proclamation during Monday night’s city council meeting.

WDBJ7 talked to Roanoke City Councilmember Trish White-Boyd about why she helped FEDUP lead these efforts.

“It’s a slow progress but we are making progress, and what they’re doing today is a part of that progress,” said White-Boyd. “So, just these baby steps forward, because it’s such a massive problem and we’ve got everybody working on it - the gun violence prevention task force, the mayor, the city manager, the police department. Everybody is trying to do their part.”

Gun Violence Awareness Day will be June 2 and the prayer-breakfast honoring victims will be June 3.

White-Boyd says Roanoke City Public Schools will be encouraging students to wear orange.

Leaders invite everyone to participate by wearing orange June 2-4.