Trayvon Martin would have turned 19 years old today. High school graduations, college hopes, and visions of a bright life that could have lasted decades were cut short by an overzealous night watchmen. The teen’s crime? Walking home from the grocery store with a bag of Skittles, wearing a hoodie.
After a “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial stunned a nation this summer, we decided to take our frustrations to truly ask the question, “What now?” We didn’t just let our emotions rest with a simple hashtag. We decided to do something about it. #YourLifeMatters is an interactive space for young people, especially young Black young men, to remember that their value goes beyond the stereotypes placed on their shoulders by society.
Over the course of seven months, celebrities have aligned with our mission, sharing empowering messages and a community of positivity. A roster of notables, from expectant mom Ciara and American Ballet Theatre ballerina Misty Copeland, to John Legend and Reverend Al Sharpton, used their star power to remind young people to never doubt their self worth and promising futures.
We are here to be a mouthpiece for our generation. We want young men of color to know that while they may wear the same hoodie Trayvon Martin wore and walk to the store for a snack, just as he did and their lives don’t have to end in the same way. To the young men who have looked at this tragedy in fear, know this-–Your Life Matters. We want to give Spinderella a special THANK YOU for joining us in this fight! Her message is extremely heartfelt and potent.
Share your stories of inspiration to uplift this generation. We need it right now!
Check Out This Gallery Of Trayvon Martin’s Life In Photos: