Rutgers' Douglass College to host mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner

<p>Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, has advocated for gun control legislation since his death in 2012.</p>

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, has advocated for gun control legislation since his death in 2012.

Prominent Black mothers who have lost their children to gun violence and police brutality will be speaking at Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University–New Brunswick on Nov. 14, according to a press release. The event will be held at Voorhees Chapel. 

The “Mothers of the Movement” will discuss their work advocating for gun control and criminal justice reform as well as the social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter, that evolved from the deaths of their children, according to the release. 

The release stated that the event is a “teach-in,” meaning the mothers will not only share their own stories of grief and advocacy, but also invite audience members to participate in the conversation. 

The speakers attending the event include Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton, Michael Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden and Eric Garner's mother Gwen Carr, according to the release. Martin was shot by a neighborhood watch patrolman in 2012, and Brown and Garner were both killed by police officers in 2014. 

The victims were unarmed, and the men responsible for their deaths were acquitted, resulting in nationwide protests, according to articles in The New York Times.

In the release, Dean of Douglass Residential College Jacquelyn Litt cited research conducted by Frank Edwards, an assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers—Newark. Edwards found that Black men and boys have a 1 in 1,000 chance of being killed by American police officers.

Also speaking at the event are Oscar Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson, Sean Bell’s mother Valerie Bell, Amadou Diallo's mother Kadi Diallo, Gary Hopkins Jr.’s mother Marion Gray-Hopkins, Kevin Cooper’s mother Greta Williams, Cliff Wesley’s mother Gwen Wesley and Mohamed Bah's mother Hawa Bah, according to the release.

“The Mothers of the Movement have unfortunately lived this tragedy firsthand,” Litt said in the release. “They now use their voices to further illuminate this epidemic in our country and to unite social justice activists to speak out against injustice. They are incredible role models for our students and the Rutgers community at large.”

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