PORTLAND, OR (KOIN) Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, spoke to hundreds of people at Oregon State University Monday to a sold-out auditorium.
Elise Haas reported from Portland, Oregon.
“We are all in this country together and we need to learn to get along together,” she said. “Regardless of what somebody’s race is. Regardless of what somebody’s sexual orientation is. Regardless of the color of their skin.
Her 17-year-old son was shot and killed in 2012 while walking down a Sanford, Florida sidewalk by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
According to the Associated Press, Zimmerman said he thought Trayvon may have been burglarzing homes and approached him. A fight ensued and Zimmerman fatally shot him. A jury later acquitted him of second-degree murder.
Fulton said instead of remaining depressed and angry over the seemingly senseless shooting of her son, she decided to speak to audiences to try and stop people from hating and teaching them to be more tolerant.
“That’s what made me put my energy, my negative energy because of course it was there,” Fulton said. “My disappointment, my sadness, my hurt, my pain, I put all of that into my foundation and through the grace of God, I must say that God has helped and strengthened me when I didn’t want this position in the first place.”
After her son’s death, she created a foundation in his name. The Trayvon Martin Peace Walk is scheduled for February 9 and will be a signal to everyone that they have a right to walk without being followed, chased, pursued, profiled or murdered.
The foundation preaches peace with police, offers college scholarships and fund early childhood reading. It’s all in the name of making the world a better place — fueled by the actions of a woman who has put the tragedy of losing her son behind and wants to move forward with a positive new dream of a better future.