The parents of an unarmed Florida teenager who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer were in Cincinnati Wednesday to speak at a town hall meeting on violence and racial healing.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton attended the fourth and final day of the Children's Defense Fund National Conference at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
Martin says he's learned some things following the shooting death of his son. "I think that lesson is stand up for what you believe in and when you stand up for what you believe in others will stand with you."
Fulton says they're trying to turn the pain of Trayvon's death into a power for good. "Turning my hurt into something positive and what I mean by power is through our foundation with us helping other kids so this does not happen to them."
Poet Maya Angelou urged everyone to avoid responding to injustice or violence with hate. "What we have to do is ask for, search for, seek for and demand justice. Now that means we don't become poisoned by hate."
Javee Howard from Chicago says he was inspired. "They really bring out the goodness inside of you. They showed me that everything that I'm working hard to do, everything that I've put forth the effort to be here is worth it. Its more than worth it."
Ruth Wangia from Atlanta says the speakers were empowering. "They just give me power and I feel like I really need to stand up and encourage my friends and just do something about the social injustices that keep going on in our society."
Fulton says she has a message for young people everywhere. "Even though there are negative vibes I want to remain positive at all times and I want them to connect themselves to positive people."
The president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Marian Wright Edelman, is calling the killing of the unarmed teen outrageous. The case has gained national attention and sparked pro-Martin hoodie rallies across the country, including one that was held in Cincinnati on Fountain Square on March 26.