Patrick Center November 11, 2013 | WGVU In February of 2012, George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin. The shooting took place in Florida. Under the state’s Stand Your Ground law. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense and was not charged with murder. Public pressure mounted as it was revealed Martin was unarmed. A special prosecutor charged Zimmerman. After a 2013 trial a jury acquitted him of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter.
“It just helps me to keep going to know that when I’m going through my tragedy that I’m not standing by myself.”
Since the conclusion of the trial, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton has been crisscrossing the country. A once private person, she talks with teens about the importance of a high school and college diploma and learning the principles of conflict resolution. She recently spoke with U.S. Senators about overturning Stand Your Ground laws.
“These laws are giving people a right to shoot and kill someone and walk away. We don’t want that in America. We don’t want our kids to have to worry about walking down the street and not feeling safe.”
Seven-and-a-half year old Bradley Russell Jackson was there preparing a speech for Fulton and the audience.
“He was only carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. He was just a teenager trying to be all that he can be.”
He handed a bouquet of flowers to Fulton who stood before a few dozen teens from across Michigan, mostly African-American seated in Muskegon’s Frauenthal Theater.The theme presented by the Michigan State Conference NAACP was “Educating Our Youth through Conflict Resolution”.
Grand Valley State University’s Department of Multicultural Affairs is taking the lead educating teens across the state.
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