Trayvon Martin’s Father to Speak at CSUB’s Kegley Institute of Ethics

The story of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin reverberated around the world in 2012. Returning home from a convenience store early that year, the unarmed Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, who says Martin physically attacked him and he feared for his life.

Eventually charged with second degree murder, Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury that relied heavily on Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” legislation. Shortly thereafter, Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation, dedicated to providing advocacy and support for victims of violence.

Tracy Martin will bring his message of peace, community, and family unity to California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, where he will give the 30th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture. The title of his talk is “We Are All Trayvon.”

The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in CSUB’s Icardo Center. It is free and open to the public, thanks to generous sponsorship from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Kaiser Permanente and San Joaquin Community Hospital.

"My message to the world is that we won't let this verdict sum up who Trayvon was," Tracy Martin said in an interview shortly after the trial. "I vow to do everything in my power not to give up my fight for him." Tracy Martin will focus on two key messages during his talk: How everyone can help create better law enforcement and community relations, while also creating healthy family support systems.

“Trayvon’s death was but one in a sad series of shootings of unarmed young African-Americans in the United States,” noted Christopher Meyers, Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics. “But it was key to motivating a new awareness of the depth of the problem. We are deeply proud to be able to bring Mr. Martin to the Bakersfield community and to help motivate local conversations on these important issues.”

The Trayvon Martin Foundation was established to increase awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims and to provide support for those families. The mission is to advocate that crime victims and their families are not ignored in the discussions about violent crime, to increase public awareness of all forms of racial, ethnic and gender profiling. The Foundation also educates youth on conflict resolution techniques and to reduce the incidences where confrontations between strangers turn deadly.

The Institute expects the lecture to fill up fast, so attendees are strongly encouraged to arrive early. For more information about this event and others like it, please visit www.csub.edu/kie or call (661) 654-2555. 

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