Wednesday marks what would have been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin — a black teenager killed in 2012 while he was unarmed by a volunteer neighborhood watch member in Sanford, Florida.
George Zimmerman was acquitted of the teen's murder in July 2013. But the details of Martin's death, which happened two weeks after his 17th birthday, prompted a national conversation on racial profiling. It also spurred activism around what came to be known as the Black Lives Matter movement.
Martin had attended the George T. Baker Aviation School in Miami Gardens. In May 2017, he was awarded a posthumous degree in aeronautical science by Florida Memorial University, the alma mater of his mother, Sybrina Fulton. The university is also home to the Trayvon Martin Foundation, which Fulton and her husband founded to help raise awareness of gun violence.
Fulton said: "It took my son being shot down in order for me to stand up. But I'm standing now."
On Instagram, Fulton wished her "Sonshine" a happy birthday, saying that death had not separated the love she had for him. The significance of Martin's death and birthday was recognized by others on social media, also.
The King Center also tweeted that the organization was praying for Martin's parents and that his death "fuels us to do our part in eradicating injustice."