Who Is Sybrina Fulton? New Details On Trayvon Martin's Mom Who's Running For Office In Florida

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Who Is Sybrina Fulton? New Details On Trayvon Martin's Mom Who's Running For Office In Florida
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Sybrina Fulton is Trayvon Martin’s mother. She accepted what she couldn’t change—her son’s death—and now she’s changing what she doesn’t have to—the safety standards in her community. Who is Sybrina Fulton?

What’s there to know?

1. Fulton previously worked for 23 years for her county’s housing authority

Then, in the aftermath of Trayvon’s death in 2012, when multiple county employees expressed a desire to contribute their earned holiday and annual leave to allow Fulton to take the time she needed to grieve, advocate for the shooter’s arres, and prepare the funeral arrangements, a resolution was passed specifically allowing them to donate up to $50,000 in vacation time to any family member of Martin’s family employed by Miami-Dade County. Thanks to this resolution and the generosity and sincerity of 192 of her co-workers, Fulton was able to take the eight months of paid leave she needed. According to the Miami Herald, records showed that included among the donors was deputy mayor Jack Osterholt, Stan Hills, the former head of the fire union and the county clerk’s office employee Eric Cherelus, who gave Trayvon’s mother and aunt each an entire week of his own vacation time. In total, she received $40,825 worth of donated vacation time. Wow. What an incredibly beautiful expression of communal care.

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2. After the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012, she became a social justice activist

She founded, along with Tracy Martin, the Trayvon Martin Foundation. She worked with the Second Chance on Shoot First Campaign, an organization that seeks to change what it calls dangerous gun laws around the country, focusing specifically on the vaguely worded “Stand Your Ground” law under which Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense.

3. And now she’s finally running for political office in Florida

On Monday, May 20th, Fulton formally announced her candidacy for the District 1 seat of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. She’ll be focusing her campaign on issues like economic development, affordable housing and gun violence. She told the Miami Herald, “Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs. I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.” 

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4. In entering politics, she’s following the lead of other Black mothers affected by gun violence and police

In 2016, Fulton spoke at the Democratic National Convention as a representative of Mothers of the Movement, a group of African-American mothers whose children were killed by gun violence or the police.

Like Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was fatally shot by the police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

Like Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant, who was fatally shot by a transit officer in an Oakland train station in 2009.

Like Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who died in a chokehold by a New York police officer in 2014. 

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Like Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in a jail cell in Texas after a traffic stop in 2015. 

I wish Sybrina Fulton the same political success as Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia, the gun control and racial justice activist whose son Jordan Davis was killed in a 2012 shooting.

Leah Scher is an ENFP finishing her degree at Brandeis University. She's an alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She's passionate about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health. She draws inspiration for her writing from writer/director Wes Anderson, and for her lifestyle from her grandmother. Lastly, she's always actively seeking two things: a job having anything at all to do with publishing, and a chance to meet Jesse Eisenberg.