Following Trayvon Martin’s death, people across the country wore hoodies to protest the 17-year-old’s death and to show support for his family.
Nine months later, and in the midst of election season, a non-partisan organization has been building on that energy to bring the hoodies back – this time to the polls.
The response has been significant. People have been posting photos of themselves wearing the hoodie on Twitter with the hashtag #HoodieVote.
“It’s not about capitalizing on something tragic. We want to turn tragedy into triumph,” said Trell Thomas, co-founder and national coordinator. “It’s another opportunity to send a message that, while some thought we were robbing, killing, stealing and looking ‘suspicious’ in our hoodies, we are out here working, making a difference and changing the world in our hoodies.”
The organization asks people to either buy the official hooded sweatshirt or wear their own and then take a photo of themselves at the polls.
“Be an educated voter,” the website reads. “Not just for President, but also state and local issues on politicians like the ones who passed the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in Florida.”
People have also been sharing their photos and messages on the organization’s Tumblr blog.
One photo shows a mother and her young daughter wearing the official hoodies. The mother’s sign reads: “I’m voting because I believe in change.”
Her daughter’s sign says, “My mom is voting so that I can have a choice!”
Celebrities have also come out in support of the movement. Questlove wore the Hoodie Vote hoodie in a recent Jimmy Fallon sketch, and a photo of Russell Simmons also wearing the hoodie was posted on the organization’s website.
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