On March 31 over 100 people gathered at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial in Duluth to protest the murder of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was an unarmed Black teenager shot by a community watch volunteer in a gated community of Sanford, Florida. The protesters gathered to express their outrage that the shooter has not been arrested, and that "suspicious" activity that Trayvon was engaging in at the time appeared to be little more than wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
The protest began and ended with the singing of Sweet Honey in the Rock's "Ella's Song", which calls attention to the different reactions when Black men are killed, compared to whites. Kathy Skyler of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Duluth led the singing.
There was also a variety of speakers, and an open mic where community members shared their thoughts on the case. Among the planned speakers were Joan Peterson, Ricky DeFoe, Mary Streufert, Jesse Peterson, Tyler Nord, Helen Mongan Rollis, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Allen Peterson, Jane Gilley and Carl Crawford. The speakers touched on a number of issues, from the prevalence of gun violence, to racist profiling to the systematic demonization of Black youth.
The event was MCed by community activist Henry Banks, who along with Jodi Broadwell and Kaprice Brown, organized the protest.
At the end of the event, everyone gathered for a group photograph, which is being mailed to the family of Trayvon Martin.
At the same time as the Duluth protest, similar actions were taking place across the country, including in Sanford, Florida.