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Mother of Late Trayvon Martin Keynotes GRCC, GVSU and Davenport Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebrations

Sybrina Fulton, third from left, and Tracy Martin take part in a peace March in Miami in honor of their late son, Trayvon Martin, in February 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)
Sybrina Fulton is the keynote speaker for Grand Rapids Community College’s, Grand Valley State University’s and Davenport University’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebrations. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Grand Rapids Community College‘s 29th annual the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration is being highlighted by a commemoration program Monday night with keynote speaker Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain teen-ager Trayvon Martin.

Also, Fulton is speaking at Grand Valley State University‘s program on Monday afternoon in Allendale and at Davenport University‘s guest lecture on Tuesday morning in Caledonia.

Trayvon was fatally shot in February 2012 by a neighborhood watch patrolman.

Since Trayvon’s Feb. 26, 2012, death, Fulton has dedicated herself to transforming family tragedy into social change. She and Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, established the Trayvon Martin Foundation to create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims and to provide support and advocacy for those families.

Her GRCC keynote speech, titled “Empowering Our Youth,” is during the program, which starts at 6:30 p.m. EST in Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse, 111 Lyon St. NE in Grand Rapids. Admission is free.

Through a partnership with GRCC, Grand Valley State University and Davenport University, more than 60 college scholarships have been awarded during the celebration over the past 28 years.

Fulton speaks at 1:30 p.m. EST Monday at Fieldhouse Arena on GVSU’s Allendale campus in Allendale. The theme for this year’s GVSU MLK, Jr.,. Day activities is “No more silence.” Admission is free.

Her guest lecture at Davenport is 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sneden Center Auditorium on the university’s W.A. Lettinga Campus in Caledonia.

Trayvon was killed by George Zimmerman while Zimmerman was on neighborhood watch patrol in the gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman was acquitted of the crime in July 2013.

Other MLK, Jr., Day-related events in Grand Rapids include:

  • Jazz & Justice with Edye Evans, 6-7:30 p.m. Saturday at Hope Reformed Church, 2010 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. Details: (616) 241-3421.
  • A King Celebration Service is 6 p.m. Sunday at Living Word Christian Center, 1534 Kalamazoo Ave. SE in Grand Rapids. The keynote speaker is Kingdom Life Ministries Pastor Daniel Park with a performance by the MLK Adult & Youth Choir.

Other MLK Day-related Davenport events include:

  • Silent March & Celebration, 12:30 p.m. Monday at W.A. Lettinga Campus’ Sneden Auditorium in Caledonia.
  • Community service project, 3 p.m. Monday at W.A. Lettinga Campus.

Other MLK Day-related GRCC events include:

  • A Community Peace March starts at noon Monday, assembling at Ford Fieldhouse on the GRCC campus. It is followed by a memorial program in honor of King from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, with performance by GRCC and Kent Intermediate School District students.

Other MLK Day-related GVSU events include:

  • Concurrent social justice and service learning opportunities from 10-11:30 a.m. and 2:30-4 p.m. on GVSU’s Allendale and Pew campuses.
  • Grand Valley University’s Monday Project is Crafting for Community, at 11:30 a.m.. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Kirkfhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale campus in Allendale. Students, faculty, staff and community members get together to make crafts to benefit community outlets, including Kids’ Food Basket. No registration is required. it is part of GVSU’s MLK Jr. Day of Service, which also includes events Jan. 24.
  • Silent March at 1 p.m., assembling at Zumberge Hall on the Allendale campus.
  • Marc Lamont Hill, distinguished professor of African American studies at Morehouse College, speaks at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 21) at Kirkhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale campus in Allendale. The program is to be simulcast to DeVos Center’s Loosemore Auditorium on GSVU’s Pew Campus in Grand Rapids. Admission is free.

Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo also have events slated in King’s honor.

Next: Get Flyer for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Activities at GRCC, GVSU and Davenport

Next: Students Can See 'Selma' For Free on the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

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