This Throwback Thursday, in the wake of the recent horrific gun violence in Buffalo, Uvalde, and countless other cities across the country, I knew I needed to bring forward this special episode of the Mother’s Quest Podcast with mother, activist, and co-founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Sybrina Fulton.
The tragic news has felt all the more real because I recently returned from Sybrina Fulton’s Circle of Mothers Healing Retreat in Florida. I volunteered as an Ambassador for the second time since the original recording of this episode, alongside my sister Caren Lettiere, bringing Democracy Clothing jeans for each of the 70 mothers who came to find solidarity and empowerment among others who also lost a child to gun violence.
Together, we witnessed their tears and heard their stories. There are no words to describe the heartache that stays with them. But what brought Caren and I hope is that we also witnessed their resilience and their power. So many like Sybrina, have found ways to turn pain into purpose. They shouldn’t need to do this. Or be expected to do this. But they do anyway.
In honor of Circle of Mothers, Caren and the Democracy team have been inviting customers to add on donations to any purchase to the Trayvon Martin Foundation at their website to support the event. I also had the opportunity to write a blog post featuring Sybrina’s story of the impact on the Democracy blog, linked here.
I’m deeply committed to continuing to raise awareness and funds through a GoFundMe I set up years ago here. As we’re all feeling helpless in the wake of continued violence, I encourage you to join me in listening to Sybrina’s story, reading the post linked above, and investing in the mothers impacted most by grief. They are also closest to forging a solution.
Topics Discussed in this Episode:
- What Sybrina wishes everyone would know about approaching a conversation with a mother who has lost a child.
- My then 14-year-old son’s question to Sybrina about what it feels like when your calling and the powerful work you’re doing is sparked by a tremendous loss.
- Why we need systemic and cultural change, and more awareness-raising conversations, to keep young people of color safe from racial profiling.
- The tragic death of Chinedu Okobi, an unarmed young black man who was tasered to death by San Mateo County deputies, just 20 minutes from my own home.
- The importance for grieving mothers to remember the things that they used to love and what Sybrina’s joyful outlet is
- The Circle of Mothers and how the idea to create it came to Sybrina in a dream.
- Sybrina’s challenge for all of us is to open our hearts and to reach out to mothers, across differences, who have lost their children to let them know we care.
- Why investing in mothers is the most powerful lever to impact gun control.
Full Episode Show Notes
Check out the full shownotes from the original episode here: Ep 55: From Grief to Advocacy and a Circle of Mothers with Trayvon Martin’s Mother Sybrina Fulton
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