Since the senseless murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin happened in February of 2012, his parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, have worked tirelessly to ensure that less parents lose their children, and less children lose their lives. Through their non-profit organization, The Trayvon Martin Foundation, they have been able to create community programming based on non-violent initiatives and to spread awareness on the family impact of violent crimes.

For the third time, The Trayvon Martin Foundation will join us at #EssenceFest’s Community Corner in hopes of informing attendees about youth, non-violence and various powerful programs. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, ‘we’ as a community have a lot of work to do but with organizations like TMF, we are off to a good start.

This year, after they attend the festival, TMF is set to launch their National Youth Empowerment and Solutions (Y.E.S.) Teen Summit from October 22-24. During this event, thought leaders and community organizers will lead panels about how to move forward as a positive youth example. In these trying times, now more than ever, our youth need to be uplifted.

To find out more about what The Trayvon Martin Foundation plans to achieve, President and Executive Director Troy E. Wright gave us an inside look at the future of the organization before they meet us at #EssenceFest.

ESSENCE: Tell us about how your non-profit or community organization started and its history.

The Trayvon Martin Foundation (TMF) was established by parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin 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 their son Trayvon Martin. The TMF is rooted in the community by offering workshops and seminars for inner-city youth to provide instruction, guidance and education.

ESSENCE: What is the ESSENCE of your community non-profit?

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The goal for violence prevention is simple—to stop violence from happening in the first place. But the solutions are as complex as the problem. The Trayvon Martin Foundation community prevention efforts are aimed at reducing factors that place youth at risk for perpetrating violence, and promote factors that protect youth at risk for violence. In addition, prevention should address all types of influences on youth violence: individual, relationship, community, and society. Effective prevention strategies are necessary to promote awareness about youth violence and to foster the commitment to social change.

The TMF is rooted in the community by offering a multi-strategy workshops and seminars that provide instruction, guidance and education. The workshops include what to do when stopped by the police, financial literacy, getting into college, gang violence, how to resolve personal issues, drugs, promoting a safe and supportive home environment and increase the capacity of parents and/or caregivers to raise nonviolent youth to name a few.

In addition, people should visit our booth to show the world we will not forget Trayvon Martin.

ESSENCE: We will never forget Trayvon and we are honored to have you on the grounds.

Through the test of fire and brimstone due to the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin, The Trayvon Martin Foundation has been ordained to be a voice of reason in the face of unavoidable social change. The proverb says “To whom much is given, much is required” therefore with love, we will do our best to make the world a better place.

To find out more about The Trayvon Martin Foundation, and to donate before they head to New Orleans with us, visit

Don’t miss Sybrina Fulton as she speaks at our Empowerment Experience!