On Sunday, April 15th, The Vine Event Planning hosted a RealTalk discussion of Trayvon Martin Case at Southern City Community Development Center in Salisbury, NC. Discussion facilitators included Brian Steel, Kristen Thompson Esq., Minister Kay Boyd and Mercedes Harrington.
Guest were divided up into four groups. Steele’s group discussed racial profiling. The people in his group shared their personal stories of racial profiling and what they could do in their community to prevent it.
“With this case, you have to act past the verdict,” said Michael Cross, an attendant at the event, who was referring to Martin’s case. He said you have to direct your attention to the police force and law if you want true change to occur.
Kristen Thompson Esq. led a group discussion on the legal aspects of Martin’s case. She discussed the Stand Your Ground law in Florida as it relates to the case. Thompson also talked about her concerns with the charges George Zimmerman was charged with.
“Second degree murder is going to be really hard to prove in court,” said Thompson. She said she thinks it would be easier to prove Zimmerman guilty of manslaughter because of the amount of evidence that is required to convict someone of second degree murder.
Minister Kay Boyd talked about the faith community’s role in civil rights and how it has changed over the years. To explain this change, Boyd’s group came up with several reasons. One reason was that the church’s value system and culture has changed; it has been diluted and flushed out by modernization and the media.
Mercedes Harrington led the group discussion on international/national support that has been rallied around Martin’s case. Harrington shared with her group how people in other countries view this situation as one of the many racial cases in America. She also talked to her group about the importance of not reacting violently to the injustices that Martin’s family is experiencing.
Willette Johnson, said she really enjoys attending events hosted by The Vine Event Planning because they allow her to “dialogue about things happening in the community”.
The Vine Event Planning’s next RealTalk event, Amendment One Backyard Chat, will be Sunday, April 29th at 6pm. At this event they will discuss the facts about the North Carolina amendment that will be on most ballots across the state on May 8th. Their goal is to ensure that voters will be able to make an educated vote when they go to the polls.
Desere’ Cross, UNC-CH Journalism Major