Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, will speak at Texas Tech’s Black Excellence Gala, according to KFYO.
Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012. In a 2013 trail, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree and manslaughter charges.
The event is being hosted by the Iota Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, to commemorate Black History month.
Martin will speak on “the importance of African-American lives and bring awareness about the African-American population in the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities,” according to organizers.
“The commitment the men of Kappa Alpha Psi have made to emphasize the importance of community service, social welfare and academic scholarship reinforces the university’s dedication to student success,” said Harriette Baker, assistant director of Texas Tech’s fraternity and sorority life, according to the news release.
“It is important for the student leaders at Texas Tech to take the time each year to remind the greater university community of our shared responsibility to uphold the principles and values the organization and institution were founded on.”
The fraternity will also be featuring broadcaster Tavis Smiley and former Black Panther and professor Angela Davis.
The February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Martion might never have happened if school officials in Miami-Dade County had not instituted an unofficial policy of treating crimes as school disciplinary infractions.
Revelations that emerged from an internal affairs investigation explain why Martin was not arrested when caught at school with stolen jewelry in October 2011 or with marijuana in February 2012. Instead, the teenager was suspended from school, the last time just days before he was shot by George Zimmerman.
Trayvon Martin was not from Sanford, the town north of Orlando where he was shot in 2012 and where a jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder charges.
Martin was from Miami Gardens, more than 200 miles away, and had come to Sanford to stay with his father’s girlfriend Brandy Green at her home in the townhouse community where Zimmerman was in charge of the neighborhood watch.
Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County, where both his father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, lived.
Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender.
Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criiminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system.
What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.
Either of those incidents could have put Trayvon Martin into the custody of the juvenile justice system.
In fact, the reason Zimmerman was patrolling the townhouse community the night of the February 2012 shooting was that there had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood.
President Obama addressed the verdict in the Zimmerman trial and declared that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
Obama also said that he had experienced “racial profiling”, and suggested that white Americans express guilt about the shooting. He said the incident required all Americans to “do some soul searching.”
He added: “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin: If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are gonna take this with the seriousness it deserves.”