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A Call to Action

The Case of Trayvon Martin

The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a high school student by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, has been talked about everywhere on campus! In the classrooms, inside Jester, random conversations on the elevators, you can here various opinions on this tragic event. There are petitions, protests, and investigations into the way the police handled the situation.  George Zimmerman has yet to be charged for the crime because of a “stand your ground” law.  Situations like this cause me to question the “justice “in the justice system.


UT’s student newspaper has been charged with “racial insensitivity” because of the editorial cartoon that called Trayvon Martin “colored.” Since then, the author of the editorial has been fired. However, since editorials have to go under review, it calls into question those who review these publications as well. I am disheartened by the article but I feel empowered by the students who rallied together last week to fight against it.

Intergroup Dialogue Panel
I was blessed with the opportunity to speak on a Intergroup Dialogue, a class that focuses on social identities and justice, about my experience of racism during my life.  I was on the panel with some amazing students and faculty including my friend Alexis George and Jaden Felix (Faculty from GLIE-Greek Leadership and Intercultural Education). It was headed by my friend and former LEAP Co-mentor and her co-facilitator and Smita Ruzicka (GLIE Faculty and Awesome Mentor!).  We discussed ways that prejudice has affected our lives and challenged the class to fight against it. I am hoping to take the class soon!

Call to Action #___:
In my African American Theatre History class, we discussed the media’s representation of Black men and how that affects society’s views. I was captured by the way Dr. Jones could use this tragic event to show the concept of the media/theatre affecting the way people live our lives. She challenged us to think of ways we can use theatre or whatever our profession was to counter act these messages and make the world a better way to live in. As a Black Woman, I am hurt by the ignorance of those who take part in racist acts. My passion is to use my theatre, poetry and art to fight against these prejudice beliefs that exist in society.

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April 2, 2012 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Jelisa