Our Initiatives

Shame Cards

How do you want to be remembered? That’s the question Change The Ref is asking communities across America. And we're doing it with Shamecards: a unique collection of postcards that show how a lack of gun laws is changing this country. Each card allows you to tell Congress how you want your state to be remembered. So, pick yours now, send it, and let your voice be heard.

Corporate Mark Project

Over 78% of Americans believe it isn’t enough for corporations to just make money–they have to be part of the solution.


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:


Joaquin Oliver, who was gunned down at his high school in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine's Day 2018, has been very visible in the lead-up to the 2020 election—thanks to his parents, Patricia and Manuel, who keep his memory alive while campaigning to end gun violence through their organization Change the Ref.

Joaquin has made appearances as a cardboard cutout at more than a dozen Major League Baseball parks in recent weeks. And now, he appears to speak from beyond the grave—in a new video from McCann Health that uses A.I. and deepfake technology to reanimate the late teenager, who delivers an impassionate appeal for viewers to vote in the election and use their voice to push for more sensible gun laws.

The UnfinishedVotes.com site offers tools for voter registration and tells more of Joaquin's story. It also has a form where those who have lost loved ones to shootings can enter information about the incident—their info will appear to recruit new voters to the cause.


"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."


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.


Few write letters to Congress, which 96% of Capitol Hill staff says is the most effective way to influence politicians.

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.


WALLS OF DEMAND is a nationwide art project, and a way for Manuel Oliver’s son, Joaquin, to have a voice. These murals have a very powerful image so it’s hard to look away, and hard to ignore. These walls trigger people to think about gun violence and the need for change. And we want you to a part of it as well…come see Manuel Oliver’s live activism graphic art and your chance to leave your mark on it as well.

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We have the ability to engage the next generations to get involved, fight for their values and beliefs, and have their voices be heard.