A march is planned Sunday afternoon in Englewood to show solidarity with an unarmed black teenager who was gunned down by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.
Members and supporters of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church will attend a morning service then hold a silent march from the church to Mackay Park at 1 p.m., organizers said.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida, by 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who told police he was acting in self-defense. The teen was walking back from a convenience store, carrying candy and wearing a hoodie sweatshirt.
The teen’s death and the fact that Zimmerman has not been charged sparked a national outcry, led the Sanford police chief to temporarily step down and prompted federal authorities to launch an investigation.
Rallies have been held in Florida, New York and Washington D.C. Supporters of the cause have worn hoodie sweatshirts in their calls for justice. Organizers of the Englewood rally are asking marchers to also wear hoodies.
"It is imperative that those of us in northern New Jersey add our voices to the thousands of people around this nation that are devastated by these tragic events. A church that doesn't speak to injustice is not much of a church,” Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. Vernon C. Walton said in a statement. “The hoodies that we wear will not bring Trayvon back but they will remind us that while we have made progress as a nation we are still on the journey."