By Jack Barnes
TOMS Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie and advocates for gun safety will descend upon Washington D.C. on Monday, February 11th for a rally to bring together Washington D.C. community and gun violence activists to rally around Congress to pass H.R. 8, universal background check legislation. The rally will be held from 7 PM- 9 PM at Union Market, Dock 5 and will be free and open to the public on a first come first serve basis.
The evening will include remarks from a growing slate of artists, activists and organizers including actor Taye Diggs, youth activist Naomi Wadler, March For Our Lives’ Matt Dietsch, poet and author Cleo Wade, elected officials, musical performances, live-art from Change the Ref’s Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the Parkland school shooting.
The Tuesday, February 12th, Blake and activists Winter BreAnne Minisee, #ENOUGH National Student Walkout Organize and Matt Deitsch, March For Our Lives Co-Founder and other supporters and volunteers will meet with Members of Congress and share the messages from nearly 700,000+ Americans who have written postcards to their representatives around universals background checks via TOMS.com.
As part of this campaign, TOMS will be hosting a pop-up store at Union Market from February 9-18, 2019. Visitors will be invited to write postcards on site and purchase products that will support TOMS’ End Gun Violence Together Campaign.
Confirmed speakers include:
Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Founder
Taye Diggs, Actor
Cleo Wade, Poet & Author
Manuel and Patricia Oliver, Change the Ref Founders and Parents of Joaquin Oliver
Matt Dietsch, March For Our Lives Chief Strategist
MILCK, Musical Artist, “Quiet”
Naomi Wadler, Youth Activist
Pastor Mike McBride, Director of Urban Strategies & LIVE FREE Campaign, Faith In Action
Winter BreeAnne Minisee, Organizer, Youth Empower National Student Walkout
*Final speaker and performer slate forthcoming*
At TOMS, we believe in a better tomorrow. And we have from the start. In fact, when our company began 12 years ago in a Venice, CA apartment, we called it Shoes for Tomorrow. But that didn’t fit on the tag. So we shortened it to TOMS.
Since then, the TOMS community has provided shoes, sight, and safe water to millions of people around the globe, one by one and One for One. Our customers are benefactors, and our advocates are activists. Because our movement is bigger than shoes. It’s what we do in them.
ABOUT END GUN VIOLENCE TOGETHER
In November 2018 and in the wake of the tragic shooting in Thousand Oaks, TOMS announced an evolution to its giving model with “End Gun Violence Together.” TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie announced the campaign with a historic $5 million investment into organizations across the country who are committed to ending gun violence. Additionally, TOMS transformed their homepage to allow Americans across the country to take action and write postcards, calling on their Members of Congress to pass universal background check legislation, a measure supported by more than 90% of Americans. Since launching, over 750,000 Americans–including a wide swath of celebrities, activists, musicians, politicians, artists and more–have written postcards as part of this campaign. Organized by artist Tyler Ramsey, artists from across the country have created murals and pieces of artwork inspired by the campaign. For more information about the murals, click here and to learn more about the initiative and take action, click here or follow along @TOMS or using #EndGunViolenceTogether.
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