FAYETTEVILLE, AR. – In February 2012, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford Florida by George Zimmerman. After charges of second degree murder and manslaughter were brought forth, Zimmerman was acquitted.
To help people better understand the Zimmerman trial and verdict, a group is hosting a forum for the community.
The Trayvon Martin murder investigation captured the country's attention and kept people talking. That talk hasn't stopped, especially since Zimmerman's acquittal this summer. Even though the trial ended months ago, University of Arkansas professors are holding a forum now for students returning for the fall semester who may have questions.
“This is not just something that touches the University of Arkansas, this is an issue that touches all of our society,” said John Jones with the Multicultural Center putting on the discussion. “We want the discussion to happen in an environment where it's conducive for learning and understanding to take place.”
For the evening of education, a panel of five experts will be on hand, talking about the trial in hopes of an open discussion.
“The goal is not to reach consensus or to alleviate disagreement. Our goal is to have people reach a common goal of understanding,” said Jones.
Jones says the point for the meeting isn't to change anyone's mind on the controversial case, but to simply inform.
“There are a couple of events that happen within a generation where it's really difficult at the time, but looking back, it really can be seen as an opportunity. I think that this is an important opportunity for us as Americans to come together around a highly sensitive subject matter and learn from each other,” said Jones.
Jones hopes the forum will help others learn from the past for a brighter future.
“Hopefully, through all of the pain through all of the emotions and different things surrounding the case we can move beyond this and be better as a nation,” said Jones.
If you miss the forum, click here for the video after 5:30 on Tuesday night.
The forum is free, open to the public and starts at 5:30 in the Union theater on the UA campus.