THE ORANGE REPORT.
An online community platform for survivors and advocates
At this time of year, I'd normally be on a bus on my way to Albany, where my fellow activists at Youth Over Guns and the students of NYAGV Ed Fund’s ReACTION program would meet with state officials to advocate for stronger gun laws. It's the culmination - and the highlight - of our empowerment curriculum and programming each year.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Over Guns and NYAGV are doing things a little differently. As part of our youth empowerment programming, we're turning “shelter-in-place” into #PowerInPlace: A week from today, we’ll begin our youth-led Remote Advocacy Week. From May 11th to 15th, we’ll put the skills we’ve learned in classrooms and workshops to work in remote meetings with federal, state and local lawmakers.
It’s not a coincidence that the communities being hit hardest by COVID-19 are also the neighborhoods that bear the brunt of gun violence. Now more than ever, we need lawmakers to hear the voices of youth leaders like us - who live in the most disproportionately affected areas - as we fight for safe and just communities.
As we continue this work, we need support to ensure our youth empowerment programs and Remote Advocacy Week is as successful as possible. In honor of #GivingTuesdayNow we're hoping our community members can commit to a $10, $25, $50 or $100 donation.
Cash App: $YouthOverGuns
Secured Donation: bit.ly/youthoverguns
Luis J. Hernandez
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Youth Over Guns
By Luis Hernandez
COVID-19, or coronavirus, is a deadly pandemic that’s highlighting the failures of our systems, leaving working class families scrambling, threatening the lives of the most vulnerable among us, and causing a surge in gun sales across the country.
Given the risks of gun-related suicides, domestic violence, and accidental shooting incidents, we urge everyone to utilize Red Flag Laws, and to encourage gun-owning relatives to safely store their firearms - particularly while children are at home during the school day.
Understandably, social distancing and other protective measures are impacting all of us, and certainly changing the way we advocate. At Youth Over Guns, our ongoing programming, and upcoming events for the next three weeks are being moved to virtual formats, or being postponed to later dates. Our team will continue to update you as things develop, but I want to reassure you that we are doing all that we can to advocate for lifesaving gun violence prevention policies and programs. Earlier this month, our joint Advocacy Day with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence was nearly cancelled due to the growing public health concerns, but we made it work virtually.
Covid-19 isn't stopping us and you shouldn’t let it stop you! So here are some resources and ways you can stay engaged while practicing social distancing:
A look into why Youth Over Guns is launching this new digital platform.
By Brooke Baker
Welcome to The Orange Report. This report will serve as a resource and digital platform dedicated to the mission and agenda of Youth Over Guns: uplifting the voices of marginalized individuals and making our communities just and safe. Our goal is to spark conscious conversations and inclusive change in New York and across the country. We will not be a singular “voice to the voiceless.” We will pass the mic and provide a space for the “voiceless" to share their experiences and views too. We recognize that we must own our experiences and be experts on the experiences that are shaping our daily lives. No one else should profit from our thoughts, pain, or experiences.
#ENOUGH gun violence. #ENOUGH inequity. #ENOUGH to others telling us what our communities have always known but have not had the platform or privilege to record or share. #ENOUGH to the status quo. The Orange Report is here. Help us advance our movement as we join with other leaders in educating, empowering, and advocating for our communities.
Brooke Baker, Editor-in-chief
Brooke Baker (she/her) is an everchanging Black activist merging fashion, education, and marketing to foster equity and inclusion for Black and Brown communities. She is the Owner and Creative Director of YABO (@shopyabo on Instagram), and Baker Carter Manufacturing. A recnt graduate from Howard University, and currently serving as Director of Communications for Youth Over Guns. Baker’s work has advanced the movement to end gun violence, promote body positivity, racial and social justice through different mediums of artistic expression ranging from fashion design to communication management, all while promoting the importance of self-care.