Mary Jo Kilroy Speaking at Hoodies and Headscarves: Remembering Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi

On Wednesday night I attended a rally and candlelight vigil at OSU. The event was called, Hoodies and Headscarves: Remembering Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi. Part of the reason I attended was because of the date it occurred on. April 4th is the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and I think it’s important for people who care about equality and social justice to mark that date with solidarity actions. Here’s the video I created…

An incident occurred at the rally/vigil that I’m still in the process of investigating and will be writing a follow up post about. An individual was detained by the police for behaving in a way that many of those who were attending the vigil felt traumatized and threatened by. His behavior in the context of the event appears to show multiple bias indicators, therefore some consider his actions to be hate speech or a hate crime. Witnesses say the individual had announced on the Facebook Page for the event that he was planning to come to the event wearing red in honor of George Zimmerman.

Some time on Thursday morning, someone spray painted, “Long Live Zimmerman” on the side of the Ohio State’s Hale Black Cultural Center. On Thursday evening I attended a Crime Response Meeting at Hale Center.

The speaker I resonated with the most was Dr. Leslie Alexander, Associate Professor, African American and African Studies at OSU. She has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D, Cornell University. She’s an expert in African American and African Diaspora history; Black Nationalism; culture and resistance; political activism and identity; Early African American history; 19th-Century Black Political Thought; Black History Through Contemporary Film; Black Protest Thought.

She said the vandalism at Hale Center was a hate crime. You can listen to her powerful message in this video…

Please sign this petition. The more we show solidarity, the less vulnerable people will be to those who want to harm them. Please take a moment to show which side you stand on. Bullies don’t quit until they see the crowd is not endorsing their actions, but is instead, standing on the side of the victims and endorsing equality.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
~ Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

To support the students and activists who are working to make OSU an increasingly welcoming and safe place for all people, there are a number of things you can do. One is you can tweet your support using the hashtag #OSUStandYourGround. To find out other ways, send an email to and let them know you want to help.


Story by Lauren Michelle Kinsey
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  • spuggylips

     I think your heart is in the right place but there are plenty of daily shootings and killings right here in Ohio y’all could protest. Stray bullets killing completely innocent children, people living in fear in their own neighborhoods…all that happens right here in Ohio, everyday.

    On a side note, Stand Your Ground law is poorly written, and I read somewhere that warring drug dealers in Florida have already taken advantage of it’s vagueness to justify committing murder. We don’t need that in Ohio, for sure.

  • Newsie

    These local tragedies are being discussed and recognized as part of the overall showing of solidarity. Each speaker on the Oval spoke on them, and the interconnectedness. These vigils and gatherings may have been catalyzed by the recent events garnering national attention, but they have most definitely served as a way to address our local lives lost unjustly.

  • David P Corey

    As a gun owner and enthusiast, I just want to say that the antics of the pro-Zimmerman protesters are *not* representative of the opinion of the larger gun community. The reaction I’ve observed has been just as critical of Zimmerman and the Florida SYG law.

  • spuggylips

    thanks for clarification, just from my own experience, the only people I see out locally trying to quell the tide of violence, get illegal guns off the streets, etc. are police officers and church groups. 

    It would be refreshing to see college students realize we all want the same thing, peaceful neighborhoods,  and “the man” is not the enemy.

  • spuggylips

    There’s a law in Indiana that allows citizens to shoot police officers entering their homes if they feel the police are there illegally. Pushed through by NRA and T-Party types. 

    Unnecessary  law, and again, very vague. 

    I have no problem at all with legal gun ownership, but some of the gun lobby’s political agendas have just gone completely out of control.

  • I’m a gun rights supporter (and a progressive blogger, imagine that!) and I think there is certainly an argument to be made in favor of some laws that don’t require a duty to retreat in certain cases.
    But I also think we’ve come to a point where state legislators find it necessary to vote for anything gun related – even the most vague, poorly written or nonsensical bills – because they are afraid of being labeled anti-gun.

    I haven’t researched the Florida law enough to feel comfortable passing judgement on it.  But it does seem to have some problems.   For example, it contains a provision qualifying that the shooter can not have initially provoked the use of force  – but then it lets the shooter off the hook if he was later overwhelmed with force by the person he provoked.  

  • lou1011

    Nothing’s changed here A thug assaulted a guy on the streets, who defended himself.One less thug in this world..thank you Zimmerman!

  • It looks like Lou1011 from Deltona Florida is going around leaving the same comment on any site writing about this topic. Stay classy Lou.

  • buckeyemarksman

    “First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for meand there was no one left to speak out for me.”

    Martin Niemöller

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