Song, prayer and calls for peaceful action were all part of a “Justice for Trayvon” rally Thursday evening in the Eastwood Shopping Village at 629 South W.W. White Road.
“Its time for us to take some of our anger, our frustration and our pain and redirect it into something positive,” said Darrell Boyce, referring to rally attendees’ reactions to the Sanford, Florida, jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman after fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Boyce, founder of San Antonio Leaders of Tomorrow, helped organize the event. The majority of those who spoke before the crowd focused on community togetherness and encouraging youth.
“We have to hug our children a little bit closer, pull them a little bit tighter and say 'hey, that could’ve been you out there,” said Dante Banks, a local pastor. “I want to do everything I can in this community to make sure that we don’t have any Trayvon Martins.”
Many in attendance want to see the justice department intervene and pursue charges against Zimmerman after last week's verdict.
"A great injustice was done to this man, and I just wanted to make sure it was well known,” said Oleta Pine, wearing a hooded jacket and holding a sign she made depicting Martin’s face.
The main focus of the rally was on the future and using the past to change it.
"To make sure out little Trayvons and Trayvonettes are no longer racially profiled within our communities,” Boyce said.
"Hopefully this is an opportunity, or an awakening. Not so much just an opportunity to change our Facebook statuses, tweet and wear hoodies,” said local pastor Kevin Duhart. “But to do something that’s going to be impactful for an emerging generation.”