Tag: Justice for Trayvon

Trayvon Martin Awarded Posthumous Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation from Florida Memorial University

Trayvon Martin (photo via vibe.com)

by Latifah Muhammad via vibe.com

Trayvon Martin’s parents were the recipients of a major honor on behalf of their late son. Florida Memorial University awarded the slain teen with a posthumous Bachelor’s Degree during the school’s annual commencement ceremony last Saturday (May 13).

“To say that we’re thankful is an understatement,” said Martin’s father, Tracy. “I think this shows what this community, how they feel, how they believe in our family, believe in our foundation, how we’ve worked together, it was a heartfelt moment when they called Trayvon’s name to accept the degree for him, it was very touching. This was a day that we planned for as parents, we just wish that we would have watched him walk across the stage.”

Martin received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation, with a concentration in flight education, honoring his dream of becoming a pilot. Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, graduated from FMU two years after he was born. “In 1997 I graduated from FMU with a Bachelors degree in English with a minor in Mass Communications,” she wrote on Instagram earlier int he month. “It’s now 20 years later & now my son #TrayvonMartin will receive his Bachelors in Aviation, something he loved.”

To read more, go to: Trayvon Martin Awarded Posthumous Bachelor’s Degree

Jamie Foxx Throws a Celebrity Fundraiser in Honor of Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin's parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin stand alongside actor Jamie Foxx and a slew of other celebrities at the actor's fundraising event he held this past weekend. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)
Trayvon Martin’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin stand alongside actor Jamie Foxx and a slew of other celebrities at the actor’s fundraising event he held this past weekend. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)

Jamie Foxx opened up his home last weekend and held a special fundraising event in honor of Trayvon Martin. Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were in attendance and they were joined by several celebrity guests including Harry Belafonte, Russell Simmons and Tyrese, among others.  According to Extra, Belafonte delivered a speech at the event and Simmons presented Martin’s parents with a six-figure check addressed to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

The foundation was launched in honor of the late teen, who was shot to death by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012. The event later led to a racially-charged case in which Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted of all charges in the death of 17-year-old Martin.  According to the foundation’s website, the purpose of the non-profit organization is to create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims and to provide support and advocacy for those families in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Foxx, who has an 18-year-old daughter, has been vocal in expressing his support for Martin’s family in the past and has vowed to keep Martin’s memory alive.  “When I first saw this story, I couldn’t get over it,” Foxx said at a community event earlier this year.  “I’m absolutely committed to all you out there who have young kids. I hope you never have to go through anything like this.”

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

Bill That Would Change Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Advances

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, answers questions with her lawyer Benjamin Crump, right, during a press conference with members of the National Bar Association in which they were calling for a repeal of Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. (Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images)
Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, answers questions with her lawyer Benjamin Crump, right, during a press conference with members of the National Bar Association in which they were calling for a repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. (Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

Florida Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that made some changes to the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.  The bill, which was passed by a vote of 7-2, has been strongly supported by the family of Trayvon Martin. The 17-year-old was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and was acquitted by a Florida jury in July.

“Tracy and I have said from the beginning that our hope is that the tragedy of Trayvon’s death can be turned into real change so that other parents don’t have to experience the grief we have endured” Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, said following the announcement of the bill’s advancement.

“The work here is not done, and we fear an uphill battle going forward to achieve real change in our son’s name.”  Stand Your Ground allows citizens to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger.  New changes to the bill would include providing proper training for neighborhood watch programs, ensuring a proper investigation is conducted after Stand Your Ground is claimed, allowing lawsuits against people acting in self-defense if they negligently injure or kill an innocent bystander and limit the use of the law when aggressors claim it.

“I see this as an important first step in making sure that Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law properly protects victims and applaud the committee for taking this first step,” said Martin family attorney Ben Crump in a press release. “In light of current events in Washington D.C., It is refreshing to see legislators compromising and working together so that Florida’s citizens are protected.”

article by Carrie Healey via thegrio.com

Youth-Led Campaigns Continue to Seek Justice for Trayvon Martin, Refute CNN’s Don Lemon

dream-defenders-16x9
At left, American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte, Jr. listens as Dream Defenders Executive Director Phillip Agnew, right, raises his fist as he leads a chant calling for a special session Friday, July 26, 2013 in the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

In wake of the Trayvon Martin murder trial, movements led by young people who embrace hoodies, tattoos, hip-hop culture and rebellion are proving that a powerful voice in this nation can defy stereotypes or expectations.  While media pundits and lawmakers continue to bicker over the destructive ethos of American society, organizations like the Dream Defenders, the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice and the Trayvon Martin Foundation have taken their concerns to the streets.  They’re camped out. They’re marching Washington. They’re demanding that laws be changed and they’re forcing the government to listen.

An uprising not unlike civil rights movements of the past, these youth activists have utilized social media, new technology and the provocative antics of hip-hop to make a difference, and they don’t intend to stop.

#Ever.

“We are powerful because we are a product of our generation,” Ciara Taylor, political director for the Dream Defenders, tells theGrio. “We show the world that yes, you can listen to rap music, and yes, you can sag your pants, yes, you can have tattoos and wear snapbacks, but you can also stand up for yourself and your community.”

The Dream Defenders: #TAKEOVERFL

After occupying the Florida State House for three weeks to demand repeal of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Taylor’s team demonstrated their influence this weekend when Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford announced he would hold hearings on the subject this fall.  The victory arrives after the organization, primarily made of twenty-somethings and college students, rallied legislators, drafted letters and sought approval from the Secretary of State to bring the matter to its feet.  According to Tallahassee.com, the protest has cost the government $182,362, including $68,777 in overtime for law enforcement officers.  “I’m thinking I’m going to lose my job,” says Taylor, who works part-time at the American Civil Liberties Union and has taken significant time off to lead the protest.

Continue reading “Youth-Led Campaigns Continue to Seek Justice for Trayvon Martin, Refute CNN’s Don Lemon”

Oprah Winfrey Comments on Trayvon Martin, Compares Him to Emmett Till (VIDEO)

On August 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was savagely beaten and shot through the head in Money, Mississippi, all for the crime of speaking to a 21-year-old white woman. After a widely covered trial, his murderers were acquitted — leading to national indignation and helping to catalyze the civil rights movement.

Oprah WInfreyThough the specifics of each case are vastly different, it’s easy to compare Till’s murder and its aftermath to the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Oprah Winfrey did that very thing during the Lee Daniels’ The Butler press junket, calling the killings “parallel” — and adding, “In my mind, [they’re the] same thing.”

At the same time, Winfrey — who stars in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a film set partially during the height of the civil rights movement — was careful to say that those outraged by Martin’s death and George Zimmerman being found not guilty shouldn’t dwell in the past. “You can get stuck in that,” she said, “and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we’ve come.”

article by Hillary Busis via popwatch.ew.com

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History Wants Trayvon Martin’s hoodie

Trayvon Martin

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History wants the hooded sweatshirt Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot and killed.  The 17-year-old was shot and killed on his way home by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty, arguing self defense.

On July 13th, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges by a Florida jury.  The hoodie Martin was wearing on the night of his death became a symbol for protesters and Martin family supporters.  Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s director, confirmed to The Washington Times that they are seeking the hoodie for display following the Department of Justice’s investigation.

“It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,” Bunch told The Washington Times. “Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.”

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is set to open in 2015.

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article by Carrie Healey via thegrio.com

Jay Z And Justin Timberlake Honor Trayvon Martin At Legends Of The Summer New York City Stop

Yahoo! Wireless Festival - Day 3

Jay Z and Justin Timberlake took a moment out of their recent show at New York City’s Yankee Stadium to honor the late teenager Travyon Martin. The duo was in New York City this weekend for the latest stops on their co-headlining Legends of the Summer Tour.

Jay Z and Timberlake closed their Friday show with a performance of Jay Z’s “Forever Young,” dedicating the song to the 17-year-old Martin who died last year.Take a look at the duo’s dedication below.

While in New York this weekend, Jay Z also attended a rally for Martin with his wife, Beyonce, joining a crowd speaking out against the recent ruling that aqcuited Florida man George Zimmerman in the case of the shooting death of Martin. Beyonce also recently made her own tribute to Martin, holding a moment of silence for the young man at her Nashville show after the ruling was announced.

Other celebrities who have spoken out on the case include singer Bruce Springsteen, who dedicated his song “American Skin (41 Shots)” to Martin at a show in Ireland, and Stevie Wonder, who announced that he will no longer perform in the state of Florida until it changes its Stand Your Ground laws.

article via huffingtonpost.com