African/African American Studies

Wearing Hoodies in Support of Trayvon Martin

Date: April 5, 2012

On Thursday, April 5th, 2012 students in Professor Robert Stevenson’s course, “Introduction to African American Studies” joined other students across the nation in a silent march to show support for Trayvon Martin, belated victim of gun violence in Sanford, FL.   The resulting event shows what happens in GVSU’s AAAS program wherein there is direct engagement between the course work and current events.

Professor Stevenson makes the classroom a laboratory that measures the relevance of the lessons he teaches to the contemporary social context.  Therefore, training young people to recognize their: right to participate in discussions of critical current events; ability to engage the society at large; and, responsibility to one another in terms of social justice for all.  Introducing course participants to the legacy of student activism for social justice in the nation is one way in which students can have their voices heard.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. argued that the goal of education is to prepare us and to challenge us to think critically, analytically and objectively.  The AAAS program at GVSU follows in this tradition.  In the following story about students you see the way in which students answered Professor Stevenson’s challenge.  As they initiated the Trayvon Martin Project, it is clear that they are on the right path to effecting awareness and change from the world to GVSU campus, and back again.  Click here to read the story in the Grand Rapids News.

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