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Trayvon Martin’s mother speaks to Wingate students, encourages grieving local parents

The mother shared her story about the call she got nine years ago informing her that her 17-year son was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida.
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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WINGATE, NC (WBTV) - Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, spoke to Wingate University students virtually Wednesday night in a speaker series titled “Trayvon Martin’s Life: Through The Eyes of His Mother”.

Fulton shared her story about the call she got nine years ago informing her that her 17-year son was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida.

A neighborhood watchman shot and killed her son who police say did not possess a weapon.

She said after she was told the news - it took some time before it hit her. She was driving and she realized what happened. She pulled over and screamed out to God.

She told the students she will never get over the fact her son is gone. She says no parent should ever have to bury their child.

WBTV asked Fulton what message she had for grieving parents in our area who are experiencing sudden loss due to gun violence.

“I will tell them to surround themselves with positive people,” Sybrina Fulton said. “Surround themselves with praying people, powerful people - people who can lift them up and not bring them down. They already are going to be down because they lost a child - so you don’t need people around saying ‘oh that’s terrible, oh that’s bad’. You already know that it’s terrible. You already know that it’s bad. You need people who can lift you up and tell you - you can still do it.”

Fulton also tells grieving parents to take time out for themselves and give themselves permission to process the pain that she says will never go away.

“I remember a short time ago,” she said. “It was like I was not taking a shower, not brushing my teeth, not combing my hair. I didn’t want to do anything. I was giving up on life. I figured I lost my son - how could I ever be happy again? I just want to reassure them that they can get past what they are going through right now. The storm is right now, but they can get past the storm. They just have to hold on.”

The mother says she was surprised how many people took to the streets around the world to protest Trayvon’s death. They say his death was senseless and believe it should not have happened. Fulton says she believes law enforcement wanted to sweep her son’s death under the rug, but she kept telling her story.

“We started doing interviews on a lot of the networks,” Fulton said. “The other thing is they started coordinating rallies and that took my mind off of just being at home just suffering in silence.”

Fulton found a way to turn her pain into purpose. She established the Trayvon Martin Foundation. It provides support to other grieving parents, mentorship, and scholarships to high school students.

Fulton encouraged the Wingate University students to get involved and join a non-profit organization that promotes positive change. She says that is one way they could honor her son.

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