NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Hundreds of people laced up their sneakers and took to the streets to honor Trayvon Martin at a special event in Miami-Dade County.
The Trayvon Martin Foundation organized the Seventh Annual Trayvon Martin Peace Walk, which began at Gardens Promenade in Miami Gardens, Saturday morning.
“No justice, no peace,” chanted marchers as they then made their way to Carol City Park in Northwest Miami-Dade.
The community event pays tribute to Martin, the unarmed African-American teenager who was shot and killed while walking home in Sanford, Florida on Feb. 26, 2012. He was 17.
The event brings together young people, community leaders and celebrities for honest talks about youth empowerment and how to overcome violence in neighborhoods.
The slain teen’s family spoke at the event.
“We do this every year in remembrance of Trayvon. This is the Trayvon Martin Remembrance Weekend, and we want to send a clear message to people that Trayvon and all our children have a right to walk in peace without being followed, chased, pursued, profiled or murdered,” said Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother. “We want to send that clear message out to, not only this community here in Miami and Miami Gardens, but into the world. We want to send a clear message to everybody: You have a right to walk in peace.”
Martin was visiting relatives in Sanford when his life was tragically cut short. The high school student was walking home from the store when he was fatally shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.
Martin, who was originally from Miami Gardens, would have turned 24 on Tuesday.
“Trayvon Martin was son of the city, so it’s always a special day for Sybrina and Tracy, the foundation, for all of us,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III, “because we remember that that young man was one of us. He was one of us who did nothing wrong.”
Local artist Santonio “Blaze” Carter also showed support at the walk. His 6-year-old son King lost his life to gun violence in 2016.
Carter said he believes that by lending his voice to bring awareness to this very prevalent issue, he’s also going to places politicians are not always able to reach.
“It’s important, because a lot of pastors and politicians can’t reach places that I can reach, and I feel obligated to get in my community and do what I can,” said Carter,
“’cause a lot of people relate to me, and they feel comfortable talking to me and welcoming me into their lives, so I can help them and do what I gotta do.”
The Martins said they will not let their son’s death be in vain.
“This is a part of history. This will never leave,” said Tracy Martin, the teen’s father. “Trayvon Martin will be here for the rest of eternity, so all of the young people that are out here who weren’t around, who weren’t born when Trayvon was here, this is a part of history, they’ll be a part of history.”
The foundation will host a gala Sunday night to honor civic leaders and others working to make a difference in their community.
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