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Injustice for Trayvon

It’s very difficult not to be angry right now,  so it’s difficult to find the right words to say about the “not guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman.  When I was asked to write this piece, I refused; I was too upset at the fact that someone could get away with murdering an unarmed 17 year old, whose only crime was fitting a certain description. The same crime, which befalls many of us, who are stopped and frisked or profiled, because of how we look or where we come from.martin

As I began several attempts to write this article, I couldn’t help but wonder what would transpire in the following hours ahead. Like everyone else, the same questions ran through my mind: How could this happen? What form would people’s reaction take? Would it be peaceful or violent? What’s next?

Upon the advice of friends and colleagues I took a day to think about it, I read many of the comments and posts online, and it helped. It was hard to remain positive, with the outrage still fresh, but no matter how difficult or frustrated I was about the whole thing, I looked to the Martin family. I imagined their devastation, and remembered their message of maintaining hope and faith. I woke up and I saw the news showing peaceful marches and demonstrations. I saw people filled with the same hope and faith for change, for true justice, and that’s when I knew that my voice must remain positive.

If we fall into the negative, darkness of the abyss, we risk doing more harm than good, becoming that which we stand against. This is a different kind of call to arms, one that will hopefully get people to pay more attention to the issues and causes that matter. What happens from here, where we go, that’s to be determined, but what matters most is that we rise above all this and become better human beings in the process.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. I appreciate your candid & humbling piece, recognizing that our current state of mind is numb from the spilled news. Your inspiring and well written advice to maintain peace is priceless! Tragic events often create a very personal significance & perspective. However, no one can imagine the heartbreak experienced by the Martin parents at this time. Their son has become a national (if not international) victim. As the nation comes to terms with this unspeakable turn of events, we should take inventory of our own actions and how we choose to create peaceful relations within our communities. This issue of race relations is one that will be with us forever and making sense of it may lead many to remain angry, fearful, resentful, etc. In my opinion, the only path is by remaining hopeful that we’ll one day erase hate within the eyes & hearts of the ignorant. One day…

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