I’m honored to bring this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast to you with mother, activist, writer, co-founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation and an inspiration to so many, Sybrina Fulton.
The episode is the last in a series I’ve recorded for the Women Podcasters in Solidarity Initiative on the subject of gun safety and the intersectional impact of gun violence on our communities.
Unfortunately, Sybrina deeply knows the grief that comes in the wake of gun violence. But, after the deadly 2012 shooting of her beloved son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, she felt compelled to rise up, literally pushing herself to get out of her bed, becoming the voice for her son and embarking on a journey to bring awareness to senseless gun violence and racial profiling.
In 2016, Sybrina rallied to the forefront at the Democratic National Convention with a group of African American trailblazing women, connected by tragedy, who became known as “Mothers of the Movement” for the “Black Lives Matter” Movement the death of their children sparked.
She didn’t stop there. In 2017, Sybrina co-authored her first book, Rest in Power, The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, a memoir recounting the death of her son, which became the subject of a docu-series that debuted this year, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, produced by hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.
This intimate conversation, over a year in the making, was a unique opportunity to delve into Sybrina’s own journey, how the E.P.I.C. guideposts show up in her life and in her activism, and to hear her powerful call to action to invest in mothers, by reaching out to mothers grieving in our own communities and by contributing to her “Circle of Mothers,” a labor of love that came to her in her dreams.
I’m grateful to activist Michael Skolnik, who dedicated this episode, for connecting me to Sybrina and for inviting us to spread this conversation far and wide and direct resources to help mothers turn their grief into healing and advocacy, following Sybrina’s powerful example.
It costs $1500 to sponsor a grieving mother to attend Circle of Mothers. Michael and I have each pledged the first $3,000 to a GoFundMe campaign, each of us contributing $1500 to help a mother who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.
P.S. Know someone who you think would appreciate this special episode? Share this conversation!
Michael Skolnik was recently profiled in the NY Times and identified as “the man you go to if you want to leverage the power of celebrity and the reach of digital media to soften the ground for social change.” But, besides all of that, he is most proud to be the father of Mateo Ali, a rambunctious five year old.
He is the co-founder and partner of The Soze Agency, a social impact agency that partners with companies, non-profits, foundations and movements to create campaigns that uplift compassion, authenticity and equity.
He is a respected leader in the new social justice movement, and has helped ignite conversations around America’s relationship with race, the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, and the Obama and Trump presidencies.
He is a prolific voice on social media with more than 350,000 followers, and a regular commentator on outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
Michael serves on the Board of Directors for Rock The Vote, The Trayvon Martin Foundation, Policy Link, The Gathering For Justice and The Young Partners Board of The Public Theater.
And in Last Year’s Series on Anti-Racism and Police Accountability:
For this week’s challenge, Sybrina asks us to reach out to a mother who has lost a child and be a support to them. Take them out, let them know you are here, organize something for a group. Let them know that they are not alone.
After the death of her beloved son, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, in February 2012, Sybrina Fulton was charged with a new mission. A desire to transform family tragedy into social change allowed her to establish the Trayvon Martin Foundation in March 2012.
As Fulton traverses the globe, she passionately embarks on a journey designed to bring awareness to senseless gun violence and serves as an advocate to families, the catalyst for her dream project, the “Circle of Mothers.” Winning the national support of president-elect Hillary Clinton, Fulton rallied to the forefront in 2016 at the Democratic National Convention with a cadre of African American trailblazing women known as “Mothers of the Movement.” The women, connected by tragedy, are the inspiration behind the “Black Lives Matter.”
In 2017, Fulton co-authored her first book, Rest in Power, The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, a memoir recounting the death of her son, and the subject of a six-part docuseries, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, produced by hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter for Paramount Network and BET (July 2018).
Bestowed with many distinguished awards, Sybrina Fulton has represented the United States at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss racial discrimination; the National Urban League, Black Lives Matter, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, The Triumph Awards (2016), Essence Festival & Conference (2017, 2018), and was selected as the White House’s guest of honor for the unveiling of former President Barak Obama’s initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper.” Fulton is also one of the 2018 recipients of VH1’s Trailblazer Honor Award.
A Miami native and graduate of Florida Memorial University, Sybrina Fulton, along with her son, Jahvaris, are on a mission to build better, safer communities. She is a proud member of the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Metropolitan Dade County Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
She created the Circle of Mothers as a way to empower women. The purpose of the Circle of Mothers is to bring together mothers who have lost children or family members to senseless gun violence for the purpose of healing, empowerment, and fellowship towards the larger aim of community building.
Connect with Sybrina at: Facebook Twitter Instagram