Community Members Come Together to Call for Racial Justice and an End to Gun Violence

Columbia, Tenn. –  Community organizations, social clubs, churches, students, families and friends will gather for a peaceful demonstration in response to the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during “Come Together Day” on Saturday, April 14th. Activities are scheduled from 1-6 p.m., at Frierson Johnson Park on 10th Street in Columbia. Throughout the day, attendees will offer prayers for Trayvon and the many other victims of racial profiling and gun violence. There will also be a releasing of balloons with positive affirmations, voter registration opportunities, food, and music.

Standing united against the murder of young people of color around the country and in middle Tennessee, speakers, artists and community members hope to send the message that racial injustice, and the stereotyping and criminalizing of Black and Brown men and women, is unacceptable and must stop. Community members will come together to call for racial and social justice and to encourage a more serious dialogue in our nation and our communities about institutional problems such as racial profiling and the disproportionate numbers of people of color in prisons in the United States.

In addition to calling for racial justice, the demonstration will bring attention to the loss of family members, friends, and neighbors to gun violence- a tragedy with which all too many local residents are familiar. There is also an enduring history of vigilante violence in communities across the South, as Trayvon Martin joins a long list of people whose lives have been taken with no repercussions for their killers.

Organizers feel the national discourse on the Trayvon Martin case has become irrational, sensationalized, and remains mostly unproductive at this point. Therefore, community members in Maury County want an afternoon of peaceful assembly, a safe place to express themselves together, and to celebrate the community and potential for unity that we do have.

The event is being organized and sponsored by the Maury County Branch of the NAACP, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM), the B.G.E. Social Club, and supported by various other local organizations and social clubs. This coalition of groups and community members hope to continue working together beyond this event to build unity across races and other divisions.

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