Meet Oronde McClain

“I teach people how to go from victims to victors.”

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is honored to welcome Oronde McClain to the team as our first Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison. At the 10 years old, Oronde was shot in the back of the head, a moment that changed the trajectory of his life. Once a popular kid at school, Oronde felt completely out of place in his life– differently abled and thrust into years of physical recovery at his young age, he could not see a path forward. Oronde believes that with the right support system, anyone can beat the odds which is exactly what he did. Years later, he has transformed from a victim into a proud survivor and activist, intent on providing other gun violence survivors with a similar path to victory. 

Oronde, a community activist, motivational speaker, and gun violence survivor is ecstatic to begin working with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting beginning in the Summer of 2022, after previously having worked with the Credible Messenger Project at PCGVR.

“What makes me motivated to work here is that I feel like I am the voice of all gun violence survivors and our voices need to be heard”.

Driven by his passion for changing lives by sharing his story as a gun violence survivor, Oronde believes that by sharing his story, he can incentivize other gun violence survivors to be honest and open about their experiences as the first step on the road to recovery.

Oronde hopes to change the narrative of gun violence reporting using his experience as an author of PTSD Won’t Define Me and his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Behavior. In 2019, he founded the McClain Foundation, which provides accommodation for children who are receiving medical care due to Gun Violence and suffering from mental illness and PTSD. Outside of his anti-violence work, Oronde can be found traveling or trying different restaurants with his best friend and spouse, Shardae.