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    Posted April 9, 2012 by
    Orlando, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    One year since Trayvon Martin's death

    mzapatan and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Trayvon Martin shooting

    Students take stance at Orlando College

    After helping their school be named the top community college in the nation, winning the Aspen prize, students at Valencia College in Orlando have gathered together once again to let their views on the Travon Martin case be heard.

    Today, April 9th, students gathered at the college’s west campus to participate in a march which ended on the school’s court yard where students heard from members from the A2CS (African American Culture Society) and the BHAC (Black High Achievers Club).

    Marching through campus wearing Travon Martin t-shirts, students made their call for justice with chants like “let justice be served,” “justice for Travon,” and “no justice, no piece.”

    At the end of the march students bowed their heads in honor of Travon as the president of the Valencia’s chapter of BHAC lead the group with the Lord Prayer in song and welcomed Valencia west campus president Dr. Falecia Williams.

    Dr. Williams started by commending the student leaders who organized the event as well as the students and members of the community who were present and their “commitment to social justice.”

    In her speech Dr. Williams encouraged students to “explore the very ideals of our nation and what it means live in a democratic nation” and well as continuing the dialog. She expressed her believes that the dialog should not only be for Travon Martin but also the other cases like his that remain “nameless and faceless within the media.”

    “Each one of us as members of this society have the capacity to cast a vote, have the capacity to reflect the ideals of this country, the way we vote and the values that you spouse,” said Dr. Williams. “But you must act upon it and to act upon it in the most proactive way means that we must be informed.”

    Dr. Williams also expressed the importance of non-violent resistance and finished her speech by thanking all present for their “courage to stand for social justice.”

    The event followed with student performances in honor of Travon Martin and an appearance by Florida House representative Geraldine Thompson.

    Members of the faculty also came to show their support of the event, including professor Rudy Darden and professor John Scolaro.

    Prof. Darden started his speech by displaying the sign he had saved from the march in Sanford on March 22nd, as well as his can of Arizona iced tea and bag of Skittles. He also made a statement by putting on his official Valencia College hoody before giving his speech.

    Prof. Darden referred to the death of Travon Martion as a “travesty of the highest order.” He focused on the concept that racism is not a problem of the past and is still a “form of brutality” today.

    His speech dialed with the reality of the stand your ground law which he called “a guise behind which [George] Zimmerman is still hiding,” and stressed the fact that “silence only perpetuates injustice.”

    On the other had prof. Darden focused on diversity and the importance of working through our differences through discussion. He emphasized the fact the diversity is a topic which we will deal with for the rest of our lives. “Open, candid conversations” are the solution according to prof. Darden because “ we are afraid of those things which are unknown.”
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