Figure 1 Howard Students Protest - Photographed by Sekaya Harris

In August of 1989, Savannah, Georgia resident Troy Davis was charged with the murder of a police officer. In 1991, Davis was sent to death row; he has been there ever since. All but two of the witnesses have retracted their testimonies. Despite his apparent innocence, Davis is sentenced to execution this Wednesday. Many colleges and universities have partnered with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to launch social media initiatives, petitions, marches and rallies to raise awareness of the injustice Troy Davis is facing.

Colleges in the Atlanta University Center have been very active in working to save the life of Troy Davis. The Morehouse, Clark Atlanta and Spelman chapters of the NAACP provided buses to students who attended the “Rally to Save Peace” sponsored by Amnesty International last Friday. The Morehouse chapter urged students to, “Be Fired Up, and Ready to Go for justice”. Morehouse also encouraged students to participate in the “Fight Against Injustice” text campaign. Students who text “Troy Davis” to 62227 can add their names to the petition and receive updates regarding the case.

The universities have catered to their targeted audience by taking advantage of the power and influence of the Internet. Howard University’s NAACP chapter has had a very active social media presence in preventing the execution of Troy Davis. They have been urging students to contribute to the #TooMuchDoubt twitter campaign. All students who tweet with the #TooMuchDoubt trending topic attached, can join to global discussion and voice their support for Troy Davis. “We can’t be in Atlanta but we can do our part to help in Washington, DC”, the chapter tweeted last Friday.

“We at Howard University are glad to see Morehouse, Clark Atlanta and Spelman making moves around Troy Davis.” Hampton University has also shown a great deal of support to join forces with the Atlanta area colleges to promote awareness virally. The Hampton NAACP chapter is encouraging its students to support Troy Davis by changing their Facebook profile pictures to the “Stop the Execution” photo shown above.

Similarly the Clark Atlanta NAACP chapter tweeted, “Troy Davis’ case is faulty! Seven of the nine testimonies were changed or withdrawn! This could be any of us.” All university NAACP chapters agreed to unite and participate in a “Blackout” on Monday by wearing all black to represent solidarity. “Most may think the fight is over but it’s not. You can still get involved.”

Danielle Lomax
Howard University
B.A. Candidate 2014
Public Relations/Sports Management