MIAMI -- As the national outrage over her son's killing continues, the mother of Trayvon Martin on Sunday quietly attended services at her Miami Gardens church, where a movement is building in memory of the teen.
Sybrina Fulton attended the 7 a.m. service at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Associate Pastor G.V. Lewis said the 17-year-old and his family regularly attended services at the predominantly black church.
Now the teen's racially charged death is turning some parishioners into activists.
A budding "social justice" ministry, headed by Lewis, promises to serve the memory of Trayvon, who was shot and killed Feb. 26 as he walked inside the gated community he was visiting with his father in the town of Sanford, north of Orlando. Trayvon, who is black, was returning from a trip to a convenience store with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea.
The man who killed him, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 28, who is white, has not been charged because, police said, he acted in self-defense.
On Sunday across the country, parishioners attended services wearing hoodie sweatshirts like the one Trayvon wore when Zimmerman told a 911 dispatcher he appeared to be suspicious.
On Monday, buses will take parishioners from the Miami Gardens church to rallies in Sanford.
Others will gather at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Miami to rally for the creation of programs to provide support for students serving out-of-school suspensions. Organized by a coalition of 34 churches and universities and called People Acting for Community Together, or PACT, the rally takes place every year.
This year's event is especially important, said organizer Matthew Pigatt, because Trayvon was on suspension from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School when he was killed.
Long-term plans for a "global prayer chain" are also in the works through PACT and Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
Seminars for parents and children are also in the works. As a black parent, Pastor Lewis said he wants young people to hear the same tips he shares with his son -- simple things, such as turning on your car light and putting your hands in clear view if you are pulled over by a police officer.
"These are strategic techniques that, unfortunately, we have to train," he said.
Lewis has tapped Rufus Curry Jr., a parent and a high school teacher, to help plan the series.
Curry is a physical education teacher at Plantation High School. He said he wants to work with youths to "arm them with reality."
"We have to make Trayvon Martin's death of value," he said.
(c)2012 The Miami Herald
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