On April 6, Peter Finley, associate professor of sports and recreation will wear a hoodie to campus in support of seeking justice for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the unarmed south Florida teen who was shot and killed while visiting his father in a Sanford neighborhood last month.
Finley’s gesture is a part of an initiative by Teachers for Trayvon, a group he developed with the help of his wife, a professor at Barry University, after seeing the publicized photo of Miami Heat players in hoodies to support Martin on March 23.
“I want my students to know that I stand for justice and I’m troubled by the apparent widespread fear of young people,” he said. “Our students, particularly at a diverse school like NSU, should know that professors see beyond their race, religion, and clothing choices and are focused on them as individuals, so full of hope, promise and potential.”
When senior psychology major, Kevin Murray, first heard of the idea, he thought it was a great one. Murray said he plans to support the cause by wearing a hoodie on April 6 as well.
“I really thought it was a good idea to raise awareness on the issue,” said Murray.
Finley and his wife have created a Facebook page called Teachers for Trayvon in an effort to spread awareness about their plans. He said Barry University will be having several events, and professors from St. Thomas University have given positive feedback towards the group’s initiatives.
Finley said he would like to see his colleagues at NSU participate as well.
“I know many colleagues across campus are as troubled by this as I am, and they also want to demonstrate that they want to see justice in this case,” he said.
Finley said he feels it’s extremely important that students know their professors care about them.
“Except for parents, nobody spends more time with and invests more in America’s young people than educators. We should send a message that we won’t stand by and quietly watch them be gunned down,” he said.
For more information about Teachers for Trayvon and the April 6th event contact Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org.