Late this past Saturday, July 13, 2013, a Sanford jury gave a not guilty verdict to George Zimmerman, charged with the murder of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Since the decisions protests have been held across the country. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has been vocal on this case, dating back to Trayvon’s Martin. In light of the recent decision, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc releases the following official statement:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Comments on Verdict in death of Trayvon MartinSorority Praises Trayvon Martin’s Parents’ Lawyers/Urges Supporters to Continue the Battle for JusticeFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Jul. 14, 2013 – CHICAGO — Chicago, Illinois – July 14, 2013 – In the aftermath of the verdict handed down in the case involving the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s International President Carolyn House Stewart extended prayers to the Martin Family while expressing disappointment in the verdict.
“On behalf of our 265,000 members worldwide, we offer sympathy and comfort to Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin on the devastating loss of their son. We know that the trial’s outcome only magnified their grief. Hopefully, the national outcry and the attendant words of sympathy will uplift them through this tragedy.”
Mrs. Stewart characterized the incident as a senseless tragedy that should have never happened but for racial animus. She said this mindset set off this tragedy.
“Armed with a loaded gun, Zimmerman stalked and defied dispatcher’s admonition not to follow Trayvon. It is clear that Zimmerman’s actions were motivated by racial profiling.
Stewart acknowledged that the case was a difficult one to prove because under Florida law the elements for murder include hatred, ill will and spite. Contributing factors to the verdict may have included the make up of the jury, which does not reflect the population of Sanford, Florida. She characterized the elements to this case as “almost insurmountable legal barriers.” However, she declared that the system worked because a trial was held in this matter.
She praised Attorneys Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks and their law firm for waging a valiant crusade to bring international attention to this travesty. “Without their relentless pursuit of justice, an arrest and trial would have never happened. We salute them and hold them up as heroes.”
Mrs. Stewart – who is also an attorney – recalled that the Sorority has been vigilant in monitoring issues that this case evoked and in advocating for justice.
“The Sorority dispatched a letter and issued a statement in March 2012 where we admonished lawmakers to review Stand Your Ground Laws,” declared Stewart. “We also asked for an investigation and were part of the groundswell of support that eventually led to an arrest.”
“While we accept the verdict and respect the judicial system and the process, this decision also supports the urgent need to continue the dialogue regarding race, racial profiling and the senseless killings of young black teenagers. We also need to focus on finding solutions to violence in our society as a whole.”
She said that even amid the palpable disappointment and the national outage, the verdict should serve as a Call To Action. To this end, Stewart announced that Alpha Kappa Alpha would intensify its voter education and registration initiatives and would encourage those who advocate for justice to run for office.
With a focus on youth, Stewart added that the Sorority would work diligently to create portals of opportunity for African-American children so they can pursue their dreams and realize their aspirations. Citing specifics and using the examples of Crump and Parks as crusaders for justice, she said AKA would invest its time, talents and resources to cultivate young black youth to pursue careers in law.
With a sense of resolve, Stewart pronounced that the Sorority is undaunted in its quest to address injustice. “While our pain is palpable, we are not defeated, deterred nor discouraged. Alpha Kappa Alpha vows to continue the fight for social justice and human rights.”
For more information, visit http://www.aka1908.com.
Sorors around the world are expressing concern and prayer’s for Trayvon Martin’s family. Feel free to leave them here. #justicefortrayvon