Meet Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin

TUE, FEB 9, 2021 (1:22:46)

Years after his tragic death, Trayvon Martin has become a symbol of social justice activism, as has his hauntingly familiar image: the photo of a child still in the process of becoming a young man, wearing a hoodie and gazing silently at the camera.

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, joins BPL President David Leonard to talk about who Trayvon was before his death made him an icon and inspired a renewal of a civil rights crusade.

Through real life stories and compelling experiences, Fulton take us beyond the news cycle and familiar images to give the account that only she can offer: the story of the beautiful and complex child she lost. She also walks us through her experiences with unresponsive police, the hostility of the legal system, and her journey from grief and pain to power, from tragedy and senselessness to purpose.

The Repairing America Initiative is the Boston Public Library’s pledge to focus its 2021 programming and services on bridging the gaps that divide America. By prioritizing economic recovery, civic engagement, COVID-19 recovery, racial equity, workforce development, and youth engagement, the BPL is working to help Americans rise above the challenges they face.

This program, presented in partnership with the GBH Forum Network and is part of the Lowell Lecture Series sponsored by the Lowell Institute.

+ BIO: David Leonard

David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library, leads the 170-year old institution, one of Boston’s great educational, cultural and civic treasures. David began working at the BPL in 2009, bringing a wealth of experience from the technology, management and consulting fields. Appointed president by the Library’s Board of Trustees and Mayor Martin J. Walsh in June 2016, David’s focus is on developing the BPL as a twenty first century institution providing dynamic library experiences to the residents of Boston, of Massachusetts and beyond.

Prior to his appointment as President, David served as Interim President for one year. During that time he focused on the completion of the $78 million renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, which opened in July 2016, as well as a significant number of branch and collections management improvement projects, enhancing access and the customer experience; collaborating with city departments and with local cultural institutions; and supporting Mayor Walsh’s arts and culture vision. During his time at the Boston Public Library David has also served as Director of Administration & Technology, acting Director of Administration & Finance, acting Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Technology Officer. He led the Library’s capital improvement project for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, worked to modernize the library’s technology infrastructure - including the migration to the new Integrated Library System, and deployment of new Pay-for-Print Systems system wide - and oversaw master planning and design for the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square.

David initially pursued an academic career, transitioned to the non-profit sector, and then spent ten years in the private IT consulting world in roles that spanned business development, management, and technology consulting, working on both strategic and tactical projects and services. David is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Library Information Science at Simmons College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University College Dublin. Photo Credit: Boston Public Library

+ BIO: Sybrina Fulton

Sybrina Fulton earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida Memorial University and has dedicated her life to transforming a family tragedy into social change.

Since the death of her 17 year-old son, Trayvon Martin, during a violent confrontation in 2012, Fulton has become an inspiring spokesperson for parents and concerned citizens across the country. Her book “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” co-authored with Tracy Martin, shares the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement that awoke America’s conscience.

Follow Sybrina Fulton on Twitter or Instagram .

Boston Public Library
Repairing America