Sybrina Fulton – mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin – will be in Memphis Friday as the featured guest speaker during the Citywide Youth Anti-Violence Symposium spearheaded by the Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis.
The symposium will unfold at Unity Christian Church in Whitehaven in conjunction with the church and the W.E.B. Dubois Schools of Distinction. It is a crowning event in the Heal the Hood (HTH) Foundation’s 97 Days of Hope campaign and is designed to “provide hope, motivation and solutions of issues that the youth of our city are facing.lutions of issues that the youth of our city are facing.
HTH Project Manager Natasha Hill said the 97 Days of Hope campaign launched on Oct. 18th. A string of different events have followed to help restore peace and unity in Memphis and highlight that Memphis is a great city “and that there are people here who are good and that everything is not all about negativity.”
During the Holidays, HTH adopted 10 families, buying gifts for them and donating food baskets
“One of the major things we did was we brought police officers with us to some of the families to present gifts. It allowed the young people to see police officers in a different perspective,” said Hill.
“With all the violence and stuff that is happening with the police in the media, some kids are afraid of them. It was a teachable moment, where the young men were sort of startled when the police officers walked in. Our CEO, LaDell Beamon, explained that officers are here to protect.”
The symposium with Fulton is set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donna Hall, mother of slain Chicago teenager Marshall Hall, is also a scheduled participant. A wide-ranging panel will include youth, police officers, clergy, educators and representatives of the legal professiHall, mother of slain Chicago teenager Marshall Hall, is also a scheduled participant. A wide-ranging panel will include youth, police officers, clergy, educators and representatives of the legal professi
“We want to bring the community together to discuss things that could possibly be the solution,” Hill said. “Or just different things that we can do as individuals to help create a change.”
At the end of the event will be the “band of promise” with each individual given the opportunity to make a promise related to bettering the community.
Unity Christian Church is located at 3345 McCorkle Rd. Pastor Eric Ovid Donaldson, senior minister, will deliver the “Greetings” for the symposium.
“Oft times things happen and we feel that they are a tragedy and injustice, but we always must remember that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord,” said Donaldson.
“There is no accident that this is happening. Not only because of our prayers being answered, but because of there being a response to the various injustice brutalities and circumstances that we have seen in the news recently, particularly in New York, in Cleveland and in other areas around the country,” said Donaldson.
“This is just the beginning. It’s a beginning to determine how we can – once and for all – have peace in our community and protect our children so that they can grow up to be the leaders and fulfill their purpose for being on this earth.”