When Governor Larry Hogan last Saturday announced posthumous pardons for 34 lynching victims in Maryland, he credited teacher Michelle St. Pierre’s students from Loch Raven Technical Academy for inspiring his action.

The story attracted national and international media attention including coverage by NPR, CBS, NBC, CNN, Rolling Stone, Politico, The Washington Post, New York Post, and by outlets as far away as Australia.

Justice for Howard Cooper from Baltimore County Public Schools on Vimeo.

A petition to have Cooper’s conviction overturned was one of the projects that came out of Loch Raven Technical Academy law and finance magnet students working with the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project. The initial request for a posthumous pardon was sent from the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project to the governor based on student ideas. Then a digital petition was created by students to collect signatures.

In conjunction with the unveiling ceremony, the Equal Justice Initiative hosted an essay contest on racial justice. The first-place winner, Tyrell Taylor, Grade 9, Woodlawn High School, read his essay at the event.

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