Change the Ref (CTR) was formed to amplify and support youth efforts and movement building. They use urban art and non-violent creative confrontation to advocate for the eradication of the gun violence epidemic and to expose elected officials who are bought and paid for by the NRA and gun manufacturers. #NeverAgain
A Message From Manuel Oliver Father of Joaquin "Guac" Oliver One of 17 students and educators who were murdered in Parkland, Florida
Manuel and Patricia Oliver, parents of Joaquin Oliver, turned to art and activism to ensure their son’s voice stayed in the forefront of the gun violence prevention movement. They founded Change the Ref to ensure that all of the lives lost to gun violence are never forgotten and real change happens in the United States.
Change The Ref is working with corporations to ensure they are doing their part in combating the gun violence epidemic in the United States. The Gun Safety Certified mark is a symbol for brands and business to use to both show their support for gun safety and push other corporations to do better.
Any company utilizing the mark has agreed to the following:
These victims leave behind incomplete ideas, ambitions, goals, and dreams. To honor the creative minds, souls and spirits of gun violence victims, Change the Ref is collecting incomplete artifacts in the form of songs, drawings, unattended events, text messages and more.Visit the Museum
The representatives who change gun laws can’t ignore the power of handwritten letters. That’s why we started Posts into Letters: a movement that turns social media posts into letters for Congress. But not just any letters—letters written in the handwriting of Joaquin Oliver, one of 17 killed in the Parkland shooting in 2018.Find out more
They are meant to remind people of the realities of gun violence by using art to communicate in ways that are more powerful than words.Find Out More
"GUAC: My Son, My Hero” is a one-man social justice theatre piece that tells the true story of Manuel Oliver in the year following the murder of his son Joaquin in the Parkland shooting. Joaquin, affectionately nicknamed Guac, was one of seventeen people murdered on February 14th 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was just 17. Manuel, a painter and visual artist, has dedicated his life since his son’s murder to campaigning for gun law reform through his organization, Change the Ref. His work, including creating large-scale public art pieces across America and beyond, has generated worldwide attention, and “GUAC: MY Son, My Hero” is his latest, and most ambitious project to date. Like all his work, its core motivation is ensuring other young Americans do not lose their lives, like his son did. As Manuel states, “I lost my son. My son did not lose his father."Stay Tuned for More Info
June 21st 3D Activist Will Receive an award in Cannes, France Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity, France
June 17th - June 21st Launch of Gun Safety Certified Seal Initiative Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity, France
July 4th Gun Dependence Day Activation Location TBD