Mother of Trayvon Martin opened online MLK celebration at Penn State Behrend

A portrait of Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin

Sybrina Fulton will open Penn State Behrend's 2021 celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a online discussion about activism and social justice. Her son, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed in 2012.

Credit: Contributed photo

ERIE, Pa. — Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, discussed social justice activism, including the Black Lives Matter movement, in an online forum that will open Penn State Behrend’s 2021 celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Jan. 18 program, which was hosted on Zoom, was free and open to the public.

Martin, 17, was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, in 2012. The man who killed him was acquitted.

Fulton became an activist working with Mothers of the Movement and other groups that hope to reduce gun violence. In 2020, she expanded her role, attending the funeral for George Floyd, who died during an arrest in Minneapolis, and campaigning for a seat on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners.

“When I say, ‘Get involved,’ I’m not just talking about social media likes or reposting something,” Fulton told ABC News. “I’m talking about really getting involved, whether that’s voting, attending jury duty, signing petitions, protesting, or sending letters to the president, and the governor, and your local officials. But you have to do something.”

Fulton will talk with members of the Penn State Behrend community via Zoom beginning at noon on Monday, Jan. 18. The program, which will be moderated by Andy Herrera, director of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs, can be accessed at

Two additional programs will honor King next week. Both are open to the public at no cost.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Erie Mayor Joe Schember and members of his administration discussed local diversity and inclusion projects in “Embracing the Dream,” an online forum that will include discussion of the Better Together Council, the New American Council and the People’s Supper, among other programs. That program also will be hosted on Zoom, at, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

On Friday, Jan. 22, the Association of Black Collegians will host an online screening of “I Am Not Your Negro,” a film based on James Baldwin’s final, unfinished manuscript, “Remember This House.” The film, which is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, was nominated for an Oscar in 2017. It can be viewed at beginning at 5 p.m.

Penn State Behrend’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration is sponsored by the Office of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs and the Student Activity Fee. For more information, call 814-898-7101 or email [email protected].