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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 watchman. The teen’s crime? Walking home from the grocery store with a bag of Skittles, wearing a hoodie.

MUST READ: Trayvon Martin Would Have Been 19 Today

After a “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial stunned a nation this  summer, the editorial staff at InteractiveOne, (which includes NewsOne, HelloBeautiful, TheUrbanDaily, GiantLife, and more) decided to take use turn our frustrations in to a initiative that would 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 men and women of color to encourage themselves and inspire each other to understand that the value of their lives goes far 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. The inaugural message was issued by Rev. Al Sharpton and a roster of notables, from expectant mom Ciara and American Ballet Theatre ballerina Misty Copeland, to John Legend and Brandon T. Jackson, used their star power to remind young people to never doubt their self worth and promising futures.

#YourLifeMatters is an ongoing digital effort. This year, the YLM Google Hangouts will offer a forum for young people to chat about the issues affecting their world, and arm them with the tools to empower and educate themselves. The first #YourLifeMatters Google Hangout will take place this spring.

For more details, follow #YourLifeMatters on Twitter and Facebook

Watch even more exclusive video from the #YourLifeMatters series below. 


 #YourLifeMatters: Tia Mowry Urges Young Black Men, ‘Don’t Allow Stereotypes To Bring You Down’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

#YourLifeMatters: Ciara Encourages Young Black Men To ‘Be The Strength’ That We Need [VIDEO]

#YourLifeMatters: Ebony Steele Wants Young Black Men To Know, She’s Got Your Back [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO] 

Misty Copeland Tells Young Black Boys #YourLifeMatters: ‘We Value You & The Generations To Come’

LaLa Anthony Joins The #YourLifeMatters Campaign & Tells Young Men: ‘Stay Happy’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

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#YourLifeMatters Keeps Trayvon Martin’s Legacy Alive With Inspiring Celeb Tributes  was originally published on