Jay-Z and NFL Release Gun Violence PSA Honoring Hadiya Pendleton

“In junior high, she had a whole PSA: ‘Don’t be a part of gangs’ … She stood up for what she believed in.”
Defendant Micheail Ward during the trial for the murder of Hadiya Pendleton. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune / Pool). Insert: Hadiya Pendleton.

Jay-Z and the NFL released a public service announcement that honored the life of teenager Hadiya Pendleton who tragically died due to gun violence in 2013.

What We Know:

  • Roc Nation unveiled the PSA Wednesday in a tribute to the 15-year-old who was shot in the back. It is part of The Responsibility Program, an initiative between Jay-Z and the football league.
  • It seeks to highlight gun violence, partnering with Project Orange Tree, an awareness campaign created by Pendleton’s friends that is focused on the structural roots that lead to gun violence and educating the youth.

  • The child’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, did the voiceover of the ad. She spoke of her daughter’s life and advocacy. “We lost all her children, her children’s children. We lost generations,” Cowley-Pendleton narrated. “In junior high, she had a whole PSA: ‘Don’t be a part of gangs’ … She stood up for what she believed in.”
  • Pendleton unfortunately passed away after being shot and killed by Micheail Ward while she was with friends in Chicago’s Harsh Park. According to CBS News, Ward told police he fired at the group of teens because he’d mistaken them for a rival gang. Last year, Ward was sentenced to 84 years in prison.

Pendleton’s life was memorialized by many, including former First Lady Michelle Obama. Michelle attended the funeral, visited with the family, and even talked about the incident in a conference over combating the violence in Chicago in 2013.




Javier Garay is Media & News SVCS Intern at UnmutedCo. He is currently enrolled in the University of North Georgia seeking a bachelors degree in Film/Digital Media with a concentration in Media Studies. Javier writes for Black News Alerts (BNA) along with social media management for both BNA and BossFM, and is a part of the BNA Daily Podcast Team.