Today American Friemds Service Committee is excited to provide support to Atlanta-based grassroots organization, The CommUNITY, as they lead a march from Atlanta, GA to Valdosta, GA, to raise awareness in the case of Kendrick Johnson. Johnson was found dead on January 11, 2013 in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, amidst now notoriously questionable circumstances. Johnson, 17 at the time, was a junior at Lowndes High.
Marchers will be walking 17 miles per day, to symbolize Kendrick Johnson’s age when he passed, with shuttles assisting progress by night, and seek to arrive in Valdosta early on the afternoon of Monday, April 6th.
Organizers from The CommUNITY will be delivering a letter to authorities at Lowndes High School, requesting a moment of silence for Johnson (something which has not occurred to date), at the school’s graduation on May 23rd, as well as an honorary diploma for Johnson, who would have graduated this year. They are asking this diploma be given to his sister, Kenyetta Johnson, who was denied the opportunity to walk the stage at her graduation last spring, due to the controversy surrounding her brother’s case.
Representatives from a variety of activist groups and churches will be in attendance at the march’s launch, and have offered financial and logistical support to marchers.
Many of the supporting groups, and The CommUNITY, have been involved in recent activism around civil rights and police shootings in Georgia, and see a direct tie-in to the Johnson case: “We march 17 miles a day, marking the years he lived. We march in remembrance of ALL lives lost, and all lives we advocate to save. We march to protect those that fight every day to live,” said Queen K, of The CommUNITY.