MLK Jr. Forum

King Forum to focus on Zimmerman verdict

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Bluffton University will devote its Martin Luther King Jr. Day Forum to a discussion of reactions to last July’s verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man acquitted of the murder of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

Bluffton’s Damascus Road antiracism team will lead “Race, Fear and Violence: Reflections on the George Zimmerman Verdict” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, in Founders Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

In a continuation of a faculty and staff workshop on race and fear, a panel of five faculty and staff members will answer questions provided anonymously in advance. The questions will regard race, fear and violence in light of the Zimmerman verdict “and other instances where race has potentially played a part in the final outcome,” notes Dr. Crystal Sellers Battle, the panel moderator and Damascus Road chair.

The assistant professor of music is also this year’s civic engagement lecturer at Bluffton, whose civic engagement theme for 2013-14 is “Race and Ethnicity in America: Celebration, Struggle, Opportunity.”