The Houston chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will present a panel discussion entitled Race, Justice and the Media on Wednesday August 14th at the Houston Central Library. Legal scholars, community journalists and social commentators will examine the issues related to the tragic case in which neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin and will address the role of the media in this particular case as well as its role in those similar to it.
The George Zimmerman case has once again exposed the deep divisions among American society on a wide range of issues including racial relations, Second Amendment rights and the definition of self-defense in criminal trials. This case has also fostered questions concerning media coverage and whether it is the role of the media to strictly report the facts of a news story or if it is the media’s responsibility to become an advocate for one individual or point of view.
The Holy Quran states in Surah 49:12-13
O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it, but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
Truly the Holy Quran is a guidance for mankind and there is a wealth of instructions contained within it that can contribute to healing the diseases if the heart that cause people to harm, insult and oppress one another.
The panel will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14th at the Houston Central Library, 500 McKinney, Houston, TX 77002. The panelists have been confirmed and are provided below.
• Jesse Muhammad, writer for the Nation of Islam’s “Final Call” newspaper
• Shelby Moore, South Texas College of Law professor
• Tyrone Tillery, University of Houston Associate Professor of History
• Orlando Sanchez, Harris County Treasurer
• Dorris Ellis, publisher of "The Houston Sun"
For more information and to RSVP for the event please visit the SPJ Houston website at www.spjhouston.com