The Providence College Black Studies Program e-mailed students, faculty, and administrators Tuesday to renew an award called the Trayvon Martin Award for Social Justice.
The award honors those who have shown leadership and commitment to “challenging and eliminating racism” and “empowering others to seek social justice,” said the e-mail obtained by The Daily Caller.
The award was created in 2012 to honor the 17-year-old African American who was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Florida. Though Zimmerman was widely accused of racial profiling, the jury ultimately found him not guilty of murder.
When the award was first created, it was controversial because the trial had not even started yet. Now, despite the verdict, the department has decided to renew the award. “We won’t be silenced in recognizing those who work for social justice at Providence College, in the community or on a global level,” said Director of Black Studies Julia Jordan-Zachery in the e-mail.
Jordan-Zachery wants to make sure the award effectively serves as a “memory of victims of racism and other forms of oppression in the United States.”
“Indeed I decided on Trayvon Martin because his death, in part, embodies the radical racial justice calls of Dr. Martin Luther King—not the sanitized recitation we engage in every January,” said Jordan-Zachery in an April 2013 post on her blog.
The award will be given to a student and a staff member in an awards ceremony in the spring.