As Miami police and community leaders prepare for a verdict in the George Zimmerman (Trayvon Martin) trial, Miami native and Miami HEAT player James Jones appears in a new public service announcement encouraging residents to "Raise your voice, not your hands." The video was produced by the Broward Sheriff's Office and includes kids from the Jason Taylor Foundation and H.A.N.D.Y. (Helping Abused, Neglected, Disadvantaged Youth.)
In the video, Jones advises, "Talk it out. show the community what you stand for."
In addition to the support from Jones, The Miami Herald reports that Miami-Dade's Community Relations Board has asked Miami HEAT players to "lead a unity walk through the inner city."
On February 26, 2012, Miami Gardens teen, Trayvon Martin, was gunned down by George Zimmerman while Martin was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida. Soon after, the Miami HEAT paid tribute to Trayvon with a powerful photo of the entire team posing, looking down while wearing black HEAT warm-up suits and of course, hoodies. Dwyane Wade posted a tribute photo of his own wearing a black hoodie and looking down while holding a basketball. The team and its players were quick to show support for the Miami teen and his family and even now, a few people close to the HEAT have recently taken to social media using the hashtag #JusticeForTrayvon.
Miami has come a long way since the racially charged Liberty City riots in 1980. We've become more glamorous, more sexy and thanks in large part to the Miami HEAT, we have a bigger national stage than ever from which to raise our voices, not our hands. The Zimmerman trial is very emotional and now, as the jury deliberates and their decision is so close, there can be no doubt - justice is what we all want.
A new social media campaign promotes what South Florida communities really need. It's called #StayCalmForTrayvon. Stay calm and raise your voice (vocally or virtually,) not your hands. Make James Jones proud.
Most of all, stay classy Miami.
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