PLAINFIELD, NJ - Local activist and volunteer group Plainfield Youth Organization for Unity (Y.O.U.) hosted a candlelight vigil at Plainfield's City Hall on Wednesday, July 17 in the wake of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida last week.
After Y.O.U. made an introduction, the crowd was encouraged to gather into a circle and candles were passed out. After each candle was lit, the names of black youths that passed were mentioned randomly by members of the crowd. Danielle Tucker, a recent high school graduate and member of Plainfield Y.O.U., sang “The Greatest Love of All” and Pastor Tracy Shider led the group in a prayer that evoked unity and peace among the community. Towards the end of the vigil, members of the crowd were encouraged to go up and make a statement about how they felt about the tragedy and how it affects the community.
Among the crowd was Plainfield film director Alrick Brown, who directed the winning Sundance film “Kinyarwanda”. When asked how he felt about the event, he replied “I'm very proud of the youth in Plainfield.
Sarah Cherry-Codogan, founder of the Young Men of Resilience organization, said that “what happened is a travesty” and “we [minorities] are the struggle.”
David Fowler of Scotch Plains expressed a bit of anger towards the situation; “I'm not fazed because I've seen more then the [average] young person.”
David Plummer, Plainfield High School history teacher and photographer of Plummer Photography, said, “I like that the youth stepped up and organized [this event]”... “[the] upside to this tragedy” is that “the youth got involved.”