Spurred by the shooting death of an unarmed black youth in Florida, more than 100 McGill law students and half a dozen faculty members donned hooded sweatshirts this week to raise awareness about racial profiling. The symbolic demonstration echoed events held at law faculties at U.S. universities like Harvard, Yale and Georgetown in honour of Trayvon Martin.
The case has triggered nationwide protests, and is under review by the U.S. Justice Department. “I just wanted to highlight that we like to think of racial profiling as a problem in the States, but it’s a problem in Canada that needs to be addressed as well,” said first-year law student Ngozi Okidegbe, 23, who initiated the event with the aid of Jason Chung, Emily Elder and Anne-Karine Dabo.
“The fact so many students are wearing hoods shows there is recognition that this is a problem and we need to find strategies to deal with it.” Okidegbe, who is originally from the Washington, D.C., area and has lived in Montreal for four years, said 150 students from the McGill law faculty and six professors participated.