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Trayvon Martin’s mother to deliver Sojourner Truth lecture

February 14, 2018   /   by John Hollis

Sybrina Fulton, George Mason University, Trayvon Martin

Sybrina Fulton

The mother of Trayvon Martin says time helps, but there’s nothing that can assuage the pain and the sense of tremendous loss she’s endured following the tragic death of her teenage son.

“I’m still angry,” said Sybrina Fulton, who will appear at George Mason University on Feb. 19 to deliver the 2018 Sojourner Truth Lecture at the Hub Ballroom starting at 1:30 p.m. “There’s an anger that can’t be repaired. My heart has been broken – that can’t be repaired. That’s an awful thing. The missing part is constantly a reminder of the injustice in this world.”

Martin was 17 years old when he was fatally shot in the chest by George Zimmerman while visiting family in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26, 2012. 

Zimmerman was later acquitted of second-degree murder charges, setting off a heated national debate about equal justice in America.

Fulton was emotionally paralyzed by the news of her son’s death, unable to leave her room for days.

In the nearly six years since, she has dedicated her life to positive social change and become an author and outspoken advocate against violence towards children and for better, safer communities. She and Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, founded the non-profit Trayvon Martin Foundation and co-authored a 2017 book, “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin” that chronicled a life cut tragically short and the rise of a movement that has stirred America’s social conscience.

“It’s been very satisfying,” she said. “You have so much negative energy when you lose a child. It just feels like you have to do something.”

A Miami native, Fulton graduated from Florida Memorial University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She worked for the Miami-Dade County Housing Development Agency for more than 25 years.

She said that she looks forward to appearing at Mason and at other college campuses because she believes that our nation’s young people are the key to successfully bridging the gap between local communities and law enforcement and making sure that justice is applied equally.

Fulton continues to transform her own grief into something positive by educating children about their civil rights and helping them feel accepted as part of an ever-changing society.

But she said that nothing will make the loss of her son easier.

“When tragedy happens, the public looks at it as a story,” Fulton said. “It’s not a story for us – it’s our life. We can’t move on to the next story.”

The Sojourner Truth Lecture Series is sponsored by Mason’s Women and Gender Studies and African and African American Studies departments in honor of Black History and Women’s History Months.

Previous speakers have included Ntosake Shange, Donna Brazile, Anita Hill and other notable women.