(PHOTOS) Moms Demand Action honor those impacted by gun violence

Event organizer Sharmaine Brown, DeKalb Chapter lead for Moms Demand Action, lost her her son Jared Brown when he was killed by a stray bullet in Fulton County in 2015. She started a foundation in his honor, Jared’s Heart of Success, to teach youth how to deescalate conflict peacefully. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA — On Sunday, June 5, around 50 people clad in orange shirts gathered at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain to honor individuals impacted by gun violence.

Organized by Moms Demand Action volunteers, the event took place in conjunction with National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is held the first Friday in June, and Wear Orange Weekend. Wearing orange, the color hunters use to protect themselves, has become a symbol of the gun violence prevention movement.

Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence in the United States, according to the group’s website.

One of the event organizers Sharmaine Brown, DeKalb Chapter lead for Moms Demand Action, said she chose the Gwinnett County park, because she annually hosts a remembrance there for her son Jared Brown who was killed by a stray bullet in2015.

“This park is dear to me. Today [June 5], we are recognizing the hundreds of individuals that were killed by gun violence,” Brown said.

The program featured guest speakers, including survivors who shared their stories, art therapy and a picnic lunch. Moms Demand Action is a grassroots organization that works toward common sense gun legislation through community events at the local, state and federal level.

Founded by Shannon Watts as a Facebook group in 2012 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, momsdemandaction.org has grown to 8 million volunteers nationwide in 2022, according to Courtney Spriggs, chapter leader for Moms Demand Action Georgia.

During a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Lisa Thomas shows a pendant with a photo taken of her daughter Naya Ruffin as a child. Ruffin was 22 years-old when she was killed by gunfire in April 2022 in Indianapolis. She leaves behind a one-year-old daughter. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Marguerite Miller, on right, the grandmother of Naya Ruffin who was killed by gun violence in April 2022, comforts Naya’s mother Lisa Thomas during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Photo by Dean Hesse.
Mothers write the names of their children lost to gun violence on balloons during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Kim Kennebrew, front left, who lost her daughter Randol Holcombe to gun violence in Baltimore in October 2010, releases a balloon with her name along with others in attendance during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Eli Flournoy and his wife Jill of Decatur watch as balloons honoring gun violence victims are released during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Sarah Peterson, Robin Harpok and Carmel Harpok watch as balloons honoring gun violence victims are released during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Representative-elect for GA House District 2 Tanya Miller speaks during the Moms Demand Action event in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
A proclamation signed by DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson declares June 3-5, 2022, as National Gun Awareness Days in DeKalb County to honor and remember the victims and survivors of gun violence and declare that DeKalb must do more to reduce gun violence. Photo by Dean Hesse.
During a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Byron McDowell wears a shirt with images of his son JaJuan, who died from gun violence in April 2016. Photo by Dean Hesse.
During a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Curtis Thomas wears a button with a portrait of his stepdaughter Naya Ruffin who died by gun violence in April 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Hanif, who uses the stage name Kamakazi lost his cousin to gun violence. He performs an original composition “Back Home” he wrote at the request of his aunt during the Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. “I cried the whole time that I wrote it,” Hanif said. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Attendees work on art therapy projects during the Moms Demand Action event in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Edith Cristophe, who lost her son LaDale Miller to gun violence in 1998 and survived being shot during a carjacking, listens to a speaker during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Julvonnia McDowell, who lost her 14-year-old son JaJuan to gun violence in April 2016, speaks during a Moms Demand Action event at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

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