The state of Georgia is celebrating the inaugural “Ahmaud Arbery Day” on Wednesday. The Georgia General Assembly passed House Resolution 688 earlier in February after Rep. Sandra Scott (D) introduced the measure to memorialize Arbery, the young Black man who was killed in 2020 while jogging.
“On February 23, 2022, the State of Georgia honors one of its most distinguished citizens,” the resolution stated, according to The Washington Post.
Lawmakers described the young man as a loving son, brother and athlete, “prior to the senseless loss of his life because of the color of his skin.”
The Brunswick, Georgia, native is also remembered as “a compassionate and generous man,” who had “left an impact on countless Georgians and Americans.”
Lawmakers encouraged people to run 2.23 miles in Arbery's memory. The community will also come together on Wednesday for prayer vigils and memorials. Wanda Cooper-Jones, who established the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation to honor her son and support Black boys, is also encouraging the community to pause for 23 seconds in memory of Arbery or make a $23 donation to the foundation.
“We are grateful for the leaders who are using their position and influence to ensure that Georgia does what’s right in memory of Ahmaud,” Birgit Smith Burton, the foundation’s board chair, told The Washington Post.
As Blavity previously reported, the three men involved in the killing of Arbery have been sentenced to life in prison. Cooper-Jones asked the court to issue a maximum punishment for the perpetrators who chased down her 25-year-old son in Brunswick after accusing him of stealing from a construction site.
"Your honor, I'm standing here before you as the mother of Ahmaud Arbery asking you to please give all three defendants who are responsible for the death of my son the maximum punishment in this court, which I do believe is life behind bars without the possible chance for parole," the grieving mother said in her victim impact statement, according to CNN.