Albany organizations hold ‘Wear Orange’ event for gun violence

Several organizations at the event are making strides to stop gun violence in Albany.
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 7:12 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany organizations against gun violence held an event on Saturday to mark Gun Violence Awareness Month.

SOWEGA Rising and other organizations came together by wearing orange to remember the lives lost to gun violence.

“We come together. We do this together so that we can give the opportunity and the space for this community to recognize gun violence,” Sherrell Byrd, SOWEGA Rising Executive Director, said.

Over 100 names have been called to honor those that have died from gun violence. Several organizations at the event are making strides to stop gun violence in Albany.

Yolander Brown is the mother of 9-year-old Nigel Brown who was killed in a drive-by shooting almost two years ago. She says while she still hasn’t gotten justice, events like the one on Saturday shed light on the overall issue.

“It felt wonderful to know that there are others and I know I’m not in this community by myself. It was just an honor to have and see other people come out to the event. Not necessarily just for Nigel, but for all over gun violence awareness,” Brown said.

Dougherty County Commission Chair Lorenzo Heard leaves people with one message.

“We cannot afford to be silent. We can’t afford to be negligent, and we cannot afford to not be engaged,” Dougherty Commission Chair Lorenzo Heard.

Byrd says the names of the victims called belonged to families, and to not be silent to the cause.

“So It’s very sobering but it’s also a moment where we can’t become desensitized to it. We hear about it so much that it’s easy to let it go through one ear and out the other. But it’s moments like this that we stop and say no we can’t become desensitized. Thoughts and prayers are great, but action is better,” Byrd said.

For Brown, the event is personal to her.

“I enjoy being a part of the Albany community, and I was born and raised here as well attended school and everything. So, I would love to be able to walk the streets or lay my other two kids down without gun violence or worrying about someone driving by shooting,” Brown said.

Albany Mayor Bo Dorough made a proclamation that June 2 will be recognized as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Albany.