For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 13


Oscar Soria, 415-217-9392

Nell Greenberg, 510-847-9777

Hi-res photos:



Capitol Lawn Covered in 7000 Pairs of Shoes, One For Every Child Killed Since Sandy Hook

                    *** Avaaz calls on Congress to honor kids with gun reform ***

Washington, DC. Today, Avaaz members are laying 7,000 empty pairs of shoes on the Capitol lawn to memorialize the 7000 children who have been killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook school shooting. The event intends to bring Congress face-to-face with the enormous heartbreak of gun violence, and demand they protect America’s children with gun reform. In all, the shoes will cover more than 10,000 square feet.  

The event begins at 8:30am in the South East Lawn of the Capital. At 8:30am families who have lost their children to gun violence will place their shoes on the lawn, including Tom Mauser whose son, Daniel, was killed in the Columbine massacre. Tom found his son’s shoes after he was killed and has been wearing them ever since. Also in attendance will be Andy and Barbara Parker whose daughter, Allison, was shot on live television while doing a news report for WDBJ.

Tom Mauser, whose son was killed in the Columbine school massacre, said: “I’ll be traveling to DC literally wearing my son Daniel’s shoes, the ones he wore the day he died at Columbine. I think this kind of event with shoes offers a very powerful metaphor both for how we miss the victims who once filled those shoes, and also for how we see ourselves wanting to walk in their place, seeking change, so that others don’t have to walk this painful journey.”  

This event, organized in just two weeks by global advocacy group Avaaz, has struck an emotional nerve with people across the country who have sent in shoes to honor the children we’ve lost and to demand #notonemore. Celebrities have also donated shoes, including: Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Alyssa Milano, Chelsea Handler, Vanessa Bayer, Brett Davern, Hayley Mills, Colm Meaney, Brenda Meaney or Harry Clarke.

 Emma Ruby-Sachs, Deputy Director of Avaaz, said:

“The culture on guns is shifting and we can all feel it. Students are walking out of their schools, survivors are marching in the streets, and parents are here on the Capitol to honor the children we’ve lost and make a clear demand: not one more gun death.

“There is an active shooter drill at my daughter’s preschool tomorrow. I’m terrified that this is her reality and millions of Americans feel the way I do. Congress has the power to make our schools safe by passing gun control. The majority of Americans want it, the majority of gun owners want it. It’s time to act.

Guns kill over 1,300 American kids a year according to the CDC. The Parkland shooting was the 17th school shooting just this year. That’s why, within hours of the shooting, Avaaz had Three Billboards driving around Senator Marco Rubio’s headquarters in Florida, demanding action.

In 2015, Avaaz made headlines around the world with a similar event. During the In Paris after terrorist attacks stopped the big march ahead of a global climate summit, a shoe installation included shoes donated by Pope Francis, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, Marion Cotillard, along with thousands of others sent in from around the world.




About Avaaz:

Avaaz is a global advocacy group with 46-million members in nearly every country in the world. The group empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. The Avaaz community campaigns in 15 languages, served by a core team on 6 continents and thousands of volunteers.

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