Justice for Robert Champion, Jr.
  • Petitioned US DOJ's Office for Civil Rights & US DOE's Offices for Civil Rights

This petition was delivered to:

US DOJ's Office for Civil Rights & US DOE's Offices for Civil Rights

Justice for Robert Champion, Jr.

    1. NBJC 2012
    2. Petition by

      NBJC 2012

      Washington, DC

CALL TO ACTION: NBJC Calls For Hate Crime Investigation in FAMU Hazing Death

WASHINGTON, D.C., JANUARY 10, 2012 – On November 19, 2011 Florida A&M University student Robert Champion Jr. was found unresponsive aboard a band bus after the school's biggest game of the year. Police ruled the death a homicide from hazing; furthermore, the parents of Mr. Champion, a 26-year-old drum major in the university’s famed marching band, have recently revealed that Mr. Champion was gay. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s largest Black LGBT civil rights organization, is urging the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS) and Civil Rights Division, in addition to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, to launch an immediate investigation into Mr. Champion’s death as a potential anti-gay hate crime.

The loss of Mr. Champion is an unfortunate reminder of the need for proactive measures that foster inclusive environments for all students, regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity, and that address the severe issue of hazing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country—Florida A&M being one of the nation’s oldest and largest HBCUs.

At NBJC we have always understood the need to create safe and nurturing spaces for our young people to thrive, which is why we launched an initiative seeking policy changes within the U.S. Department of Education’s White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to promote the development and delivery of culturally competent administrative, faculty, student and staff support services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The tragic loss of Mr. Champion is a clarion call that those policies and these conversations within the Black community are needed now more than ever. We offer our deepest condolences and support to Robert Champion Jr.’s parents and family.

Anti-gay violence is not only a civil rights issue; it is a Black issue. It is a Black issue because violence against gay and transgender individuals is disproportionately affecting our Black youth. The civil rights community can no longer stand on the sidelines while our sons and daughters continue to suffer in silence. Mr. Champion is one of our own and his death will not be in vain.

That is why we are calling on the Black and LGBT communities to join NBJC in demanding a fair and thorough investigation. Be it hazing or hate crime, justice must be served.

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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to eradicate racism and homophobia. Sharon Lettman-Hicks serves as the organization’s executive director.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. Dr. King, the “Drum Major Instinct” and the death of Robert Champion

      NBJC 2012
      Petition Organizer

      GLSEN voices support for the NBJC's Call to Action: Justice for Robert Champion, Jr.

    3. Reached 250 signatures
    4. Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

      NBJC 2012
      Petition Organizer

      Mission | Educate – Communicate – Conciliate – Mediate – Facilitate | How CRS Works

      The US Dept of Justice's Community Relations Service (CRS) is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS is the only Federal agency dedicated to assist State and local units of government, private and public organizations, and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony.

      With passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, CRS also works with communities to employ strategies to prevent and respond to alleged violent hate crimes committed on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability.

    5. Reached 5 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Shara Jackson HERNDON, VA
      • about 2 years ago

      This case has gone on for 5 months with no arrests nor beginnings of a case. This case needs to remain public to ensure a fair prosecution on behalf of Robert. No one should die and have none held accountable.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cecile Thalley WASHINGTON, DC
      • about 2 years ago

      No one should die for playing an instrument. No one should die for being gay. It is beyond criminal that four months after his deaths, there have been no arrests.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Vera Smith BLOOMFIELD, CT
      • about 2 years ago

      Robert deserves the same justice as does Trayvon Martin. Let's not forget all of our victims.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tyrone Brown SEATTLE, WA
      • about 2 years ago

      I am signing to add my voice to the call for action. It is important for a hate crime investigation to happen in relation to the FAMU hazing death of Robert Champion Jr. Any thing less would be a travesty to the memory of the young man and the justice the family deserves.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Renata Fletcher ARDMORE, PA
      • about 2 years ago

      Injustice is injustice. As Black Americans, we can't condone injustice and inequality for the GLBT community. We need to end this hatred and discrimination, in our nation, but starting with our own hypocritical communities.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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