Though a jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges related to Martin's death, the case continues to resonate not only in legal circles (witness the ongoing debate about "Stand Your Ground" laws) but among those who believe that America's most pressing concern in 2014 is finding a way for its citizens to be less suspicious of each other. It's a challenging task, to be sure, made all the more difficult by events, in the news and elsewhere, that suggest a fraying of trust between Americans of different ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, is among those who have taken up the challenge of promoting understanding, of eradicating violence and racism, and, as noted in a recent interview, of not letting his son die in vain. Tomorrow (Wed., April 23, 2 p.m.) Martin will speak in NCC's College Center about these issues. His talk, sponsored by the cultural program, is titled "We Are All Trayvon."
This won't be the first time Martin has spoken about his son, the circumstances surrounding his death, the Zimmerman trial, and the ongoing debate about violence, racism, and stereotyping that has followed the verdict. In fact, Martin himself has been the subject of countless stories and has been interviewed on numerous occasions. But tomorrow's program will give the NCC community a chance to hear, firsthand, his views about how, as a nation, we might address these important matters. There will also be the opportunity for audience members to ask questions.
It's an event that shouldn't be missed. Part of every student's college experience is the opportunity to take part in conversations about the state of the nation and the world and to think seriously about where we've been and where we're going. Martin's talk at NCC will be one of those moments. It is, in a sense, what college is all about.
Are we all Trayvon? Maybe, maybe not, depending upon your point of view. But we're all human beings sharing the same piece of terrain and trying to get along with each other. Some would say we need to be doing a better job at the latter. Tomorrow's talk promises to give everyone something to think about--and maybe some ideas about how to keep young lives from being destroyed by fear and ignorance.