Founder @ Project Orange Tree
Nza-Ari Khepra, Co-Founder of Wear Orange and Project Orange Tree, is a recent graduate of Columbia University where she majored in Economics and concentrated in African American Studies. During high school, one of Nza-Ari’s friends—was murdered in a senseless shooting minutes away from her school. In response Chicago’s violent state, Nza-Ari and a group of youth founded a structural violence awareness organization called Project Orange Tree.
Project Orange Tree members transformed the narrative of hunter orange by asking all campaign participants to wear orange and fast from sunup to sundown to commemorate the lives lost in Chicago. Their efforts were recognized globally, and Project Orange Tree’s symbolism for orange became the inspiration behind the annual Wear Orange campaign. Nza-Ari had the honor of co-creating this campaign that formed the Annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 2nd, Hadiya’s birthday. The campaign unifies organizations with a diversity of missions under the common goal of ending gun violence. Post-graduation, Nza-Ari is working with McKinsey & Company as a full-time Business Analyst.