WASHINGTON - August 24 - The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty next week will embark on an seven-state tour of historically black colleges and universities aimed at promoting student involvement in civil and human rights issues as well as voter registration and turnout.
The tour, which will run from Labor Day Weekend through Thanksgiving, will visit HBCUs during classic football games and homecoming events and will provide a fun and educational mix of hip-hop culture, student activism and education. The tour will visit North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.
"The tour comes at a time when the issue of race and the death penalty is moving to the forefront of the debate over capital punishment in the United States," said Jotaka Eadddy, NCADP's lead organizer. "Human rights and the death penalty are issues that spark the interest of today's generation of black college students. These students will help influence determine the outcome of the November elections in the short term and the death penalty over the longer haul. It is time for our voices to be heard and it is time for our votes to be counted."
Eaddy added that the issue of the death penalty has gained prominence in recent years. Courts and legislators have narrowed the circumstances when the death penalty may be applied and the U.S. Supreme Court this fall will examine the constitutionality of the juvenile death penalty, which disproportionately affects people of color. In addition, 115 people have been freed from death row after new evidence of innocence emerged.
The tour will include music, parties and educational panels featuring experts on the death penalty, human rights and civil rights. Tour dates include:
Sept. 2-4, North Carolina Central, Raleigh, North Carolina, "Aggie-Eagle Classic." Sept. 17-19, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia, "March on AUC." Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas, "State Fair Classic." Oct. 14-16, Hampton University, "Battle of the Bay Classic." Oct. 21-23, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Homecoming. Oct. 28-30, Howard University, Washington, D.C., Homecoming Nov. 4-6, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, Homecoming. Nov. 25-27, Grambling University, New Orleans, "Bayou Classic."
NCADP has joined with BE Magazine in organizing the tour. BE Magazine is distributed to 50,000 students at historically black colleges and universities, and is written and produced by HBCU students.