Press Release – Trayvon Martin

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Florida v. Zimmerman (the Trayvon Martin Murder Case) Verdict Highlights the Need for Critical Discussion of Race in the Legal Profession and Society – The Black Law Students’ Association of Canada The Black Law Students’ Association of Canada (BLSA Canada) is deeply disappointed by the verdict of not guilty that was reached in the controversial case about the murder of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin. BLSA Canada and its chapters at law schools nationwide are concerned with challenges faced by the black community as they relate to the legal system and engages in the pursuit of racial equality and social justice. The Trayvon Martin case presents the opportunity for critical consideration of race relations in the legal community and society at large. This is particularly because the issues of racial profiling and prejudice were central to this case from the beginning. The outcome of the case highlights the need for greater race literacy and cultural competence in the legal profession if there is to be true justice for clients in such circumstances. To ignore or invalidate these issues when they are relevant perpetuates institutionalized racism in the legal system and further enables racial prejudice in societies. Racism does not only affect racialized people – it is a serious problem that affects everyone as it threatens the cohesiveness of entire communities. Now that the criminal trial has reached an end, initiatives that aim to build more compassionate, culturally sensitive communities will help prevent such tragedies in the future and honour Trayvon Martin’s memory. BLSA Canada stands in solidarity with concerned legal professionals and students as well as community members in the United States and Canada in response to this verdict. This organization fully supports any legal initiatives by our American colleagues that are intended to gain some justice for Trayvon and his family. Again, BLSA Canada wishes to express its sincerest condolences to Trayvon’s family and loved ones.

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