Sybrina Fulton, mother of the late Trayvon Martin, issued a firm challenge to ESSENCE Festival attendees during her Empowerment Session, “Moms on a Mission: Mothers Turning Tragedy Into Triumphant Change.”
Fulton, who was thrust into activism after the tragic murder of her 17-year-old son in 2012, gave the audience three tasks to tackle to help ensure that the injustice that followed her son’s murder at the hands of George Zimmerman doesn’t happen again.
“I need you to make sure you’re voting in all elections,” requested Fulton. “Number two, I need you to make sure that when you get that summons in the mail for jury duty—the one that you don’t like to see—make sure you participate in jury duty. And number three, I I need you to connect yourself with a non-profit organization that has the same goals in mind and has the same values that you want to fight for our children.”
While Martin admitted that she still struggles with the tragedy that befell her son, she shared with the audience that sharing her pain is helping the healing process. “No matter how many times I say it, it still hurts,” she said, referring to Trayvon’s funeral, which she describes as the most difficult day of her life, even harder than the moment she learned of his death. “No matter who many times I say it, it still hurts. [But] if I could prevent that hurt from coming to one of you, then I’m going to say it. I’m going to mention it. I am going to stand up for what I believe in.”