Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade organizes Parkland exhibit to honor fallen victims - Metro US

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade organizes Parkland exhibit to honor fallen victims

Dwyane Wade organizes Parkland victims exhibit
Photo: Twitter/Getty Images

Last month, 17 were killed at Parkland, Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School in what was the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook. One victim, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, was buried in the jersey of his favorite basketball player: #3, Dwyane Wade.

The Sun-Sentinel reported that Wade met the Oliver family last week where he gave them one of his jerseys as well as specially-designed sneakers donning the Stoneman Douglas logo and Oliver’s name. 

Wade also wrote the teen’s name on his own game day shoes. 

Dwyane Wade Parkland victim tribute

Over the weekend, Wade put together an art exhibit in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami called, “Parkland 17.” The artist behind the powerful components inside was Evan Pestaina.

The exhibit came two weeks before the global March For Our Lives protest organized by Parkland survivors. It included murals, photos and chilling displays. One of these showed 17 desks — all of them empty — topped with name cards for each of the fallen victims.

Also inside the Parkland 17 exhibit was a “Ring Your Rep” phone booth visitors could use to actually call their representatives in Congress about gun control. 

“Last night I cried almost as hard as I had when this first happened,” Parkland senior Emma Gonzalez, who has been a main face of the March For Our Lives and #NeverAgain movements, tweeted. “This art exhibit was so powerful, so emotional, so raw, words cannot describe what being there last night meant to me.”

She continued, “Everything we do, when we scream, when we speak, when we march we do it for the people who would have done it for us if we had been in the freshman building. And every day we fight a Little Harder in their name.”

The March For Our Lives Twitter account posted on Sunday night, “This weekend we had the opportunity to visit Dwyane Wade’s ‘Parkland 17’ exhibit in Wynwood Art Walk, which was a beautiful tribute to the victims of the MSD shooting. Such a moving night for all of us. Thank you, Dwyane.”

Powerful moment with Oliver’s father at Wade-organized exhibit

In a video that has since gone viral with over 1.5 million views, Joaquin Oliver’s father, Manuel Oliver, is seen painting one of the murals inside the exhibit. The heartbreaking footage shows him writing “We Demand A Change” on either side of his son’s portrait.

The man exerts his grief through the silence around him, and it’s a chilling tribute that speaks so loud.

Watch the video below posted by Oliver’s classmate and also shared by Wade:

As Parkland students signed the finished mural, Oliver’s father penned a touching note: “Love you forever.”

More from our Sister Sites