Protestors make signs during a rally for Trayvon Martin recently in Chicago. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will hold its own rally for the slain teen tonight.
A fraternity at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is planning a dedication walk tonight to “demand justice” for Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old slain in Sanford, Fla. in February. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot Martin, claims he did so in self-defense. No charges have been filed against him.
The walk, organized by Phi Beta Sigma, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the amphitheater on Pembroke's campus. Participants will then walk to the University Center for a candlelight vigil and hear remarks by Robert Canida, UNCP director of minority and multicultural affairs.
“I thought it could have been handled differently,” Phi Beta Sigma member Paul Marsh said in reference to Martin’s case. “The story is still unclear on what happened between him chasing Martin and shots being fired, but it seems that if the night watchman had done his job and stopped when police officers told him to, things would have turned out differently.”
The fraternity hopes to bring awareness of the case to the UNC-Pembroke community as well as those living in the surrounding area.
“When we talked about the case of Trayvon Martin, a lot of people on our campus were not aware of this situation, and they were not aware of the different factors that were involved with the case and how Mr. Martin lost his life,” said Lamar Courman, a UNC-Pembroke student and outgoing president of Phi Beta Sigma.
Walk participants are asked to wear hoodies like the one Martin wore on the night of his death.
“Mr. George Zimmerman thought that Trayvon Martin was suspicious because he was wearing a dark hoodie, but the hoodie was because it was raining that night,” said Courman. “He was going to the store and he bought Skittles and an Arizona tea.”
Members of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority will pass out Skittles and bottled tea to walk participants.
“Our biggest thing is to bring awareness to our campus – to let people know that this isn’t just happening in Florida, this is happening everywhere,” said Courman. “If you look in the news, you see a lot of big cities and big towns doing something for Trayvon, but you don’t see so much from the small towns.”