‘Hoodie holy days’ show solidarity with slain teen

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village will join other congregations this weekend in a national protest action inspired by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.

“We are going to wear hoodies this Sunday,” said Reverend Jacqui Lewis, the church’s senior minister. “We’re joining faith-based communities around the country — it’s hoodie holy days.”

The protest effort is led by PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations that work on social issues; Sojourners, a national Christian organization for social justice; Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, and author; and other faith leaders.

“I was on the phone with rabbis and nonprofit leaders from all across the country,” Lewis said. “We are all trying participate in this movement for justice.”

The service begins at 11:15 a.m. at Middle Collegiate, which is on Second Ave. at Seventh St., and will be streamed live for those who might not score one of the 300 seats in the church.

Photo by Tequila Minsky A young girl in Union Square on Sunday watched the protests against the Florida court’s acquittals of George Zimmerman.

Photo by Tequila Minsky
A young girl in Union Square on Sunday watched the protests against the Florida court’s acquittals of George Zimmerman.

“My wonderful colleague Associate Minister Chad Tanaka Pack will preach a great sermon,” said Lewis. Afterward, people will have an opportunity to use art and learn how to talk about justice.

“We’re going to keep this conversation going, have people talk about their feelings, and think about next steps,” she added.

Lewis spoke about the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s petition to urge the Justice Department to investigate the Martin case as a civil rights issue.

“We’re gathering signatures for that, and we’re making a push for people to make it to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Aug. 28,” she said. “We’re trying to coalesce around voters’ rights, the school-to-prison pipeline, and economic justice — all issues that we faith-filled voice in the public square.”

Lewis closes Sunday prayer with a line borrowed from Sweet Honey in the Rock, the female a cappella ensemble: “We who believe in justice cannot rest until it comes.”

“It’s too hot to have on a hoodie every Sunday,” she said. “But we are in our hearts grieving with Trayvon’s parents, and in our hearts, not wanting gay people, or women with their heads covered, to be targeted. No one should be targeted for who they are.”

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