Members of the Hill community are coming together at 1 p.m. today on the east side of the Capitol for a moment of contemplation to reflect on the death of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager killed in Florida.
"Moments of reflection bring people together,” says Waikinya Clanton, president of the Congressional Black Associates and an aide to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). “It gives you an opportunity to reflect on what’s going on around you.”
Martin was returning from a convenience store where he had purchased candy and canned ice tea. He was wearing a hoodie.
Zimmerman, who has claimed he acted in self-defense, has not been charged with a crime.
Today’s event is not a religious event, Clanton says, but rather a moment for a diverse, bipartisan group of Americans to gather and reflect on how society considers race.
According to an email, the event will allow people “to rally together to show our support for ending racial injustices throughout this country and to display our discontent of how something this disturbing could still happen in America."
“We join here not only out of UNITY but out of RESPECT. RESPECT not only for Life but for each of our DIFFERENCES, and how we could be next,” the email continues.
Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black will call the vigil to order. Hoodies, convenience store candies and canned ice tea are encouraged but not required.
The event, the brainchild of Ifeoma Ike, a House Judiciary Committee staffer, is being sponsored by several groups, including the Congressional Black Associates, the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association and the Congressional Muslim Staff Association, among others.