Last Sunday at Temple University, a large group gathered to rally for justice for Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager who was shot and killed by a man named George Zimmerman. Disturbed by Martin’s death, the group gathered to bring awareness of the case to Temple’s campus.
The “Hoodie Vigil In Honor of Trayvon Martin” rally, hosted by the Second Pilgrim Baptist Church, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Temple University chapter of the NAACP, took place in front of the Samuel L. Paley Library located at 1210 Polett Walk. The group huddled in rainy weather, to chant, discuss and share their thoughts regarding the fatal incident.
The rally began at 6 p.m. and opened with a song from the Temple University Gospel Ministries Choir.
Following their song, individuals came to the center of the crowd for spoken word and poetry they wrote in honor of Martin.
Temple student Alexis Boney, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and president of the NAACP chapter at Temple University spoke to the crowd about ways her organizations have been fighting for justice for Martin. Reverend Daniel Sutton of the Second Pilgrim Baptist Church located at 854 North 15th St., asked the group to bow their heads in a moment of silence for Martin.
Sutton was inspired to participate in the rally after learning of Martin’s death.
“Although there was an issue in Sanford, Florida, the goal was to address some of the issues and concerns that are plaguing us right here and sometimes you have to strike while the iron is hot,” he said. “We gathered the young people together on Temple’s campus to address the issues here and around other areas.”
Among the speakers was Micah Sims, a state coordinator for Occupy The Dream, an organization aimed to achieve economic justice for all. Sims believes it is important to support rallies such as these.
“We’re just not going to stand for injustice and inequality — we have a voice, we are paying attention and we are going to do our best to make sure there are no more Trayvon Martin incidents,” Sims said.
As the night continued, one speaker asked all the children to come to the center of the crowd. They gathered at the front as the speaker noted the importance of guiding the youth down the right path. Of the children, one girl sang Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.”
The Temple University Gospel Ministries choir closed the rally with a song and the students, neighbors and speakers all cheered, chanted and clapped as the rally came to a close.
Along with members from the Second Pilgrim Baptist church, members from Bible Way Baptist Church located at 1323 North 52nd St. and Mount Tabor Ame Church located at 961 North 7th St. were also in attendance.
Sutton believes church is a good place to keep the community politically aware and to encourage voting and voter registration.
“I believe great things were said that people were able to take home,” he said. “You must vote and must be registered correctly to vote so what better place if they’re all coming to the house of GOD at one time and I have their attention.”