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  • Adelaide Solomon Jordan

Looking back at Trayvon Martin

"Ten years ago today, Trayvon Martin was killed. Trayvon wasn’t so different from me. I resembled him as a teenager, and as a young Black man, the way I was perceived was similar to the way Trayvon was perceived. Luck might have been the only thing that separated us. Recently, I reflected on what Trayvon’s death 10 years ago meant to me as president, and as a Black man—as well as what it meant for our country. I also shared more about the movement sparked by the tragedy, which continues to press forward.

Trayvon’s death and the resulting jury decision was an expression of a longstanding sense that our country is overdue in recognizing all Americans as equal—not just in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of each other. I shared the frustration of millions of Americans in the wake of Trayvon's death, and I was left with a question of what my administration could do to address the systemic issues that led to this tragedy. Learn more about our response, which led to the creation of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative during my time in the White House, and see how its work continues at the Obama Foundation through the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. In addition to My Brother’s Keeper, one of the most important things that came out of this dark moment to me was the activation of an entire new generation of civil rights leaders who took grassroots organizing to a new level. By leveraging social media, building a coalition, and making their voices heard, they were able to move so many people from anguish to action. It will take sustained engagement at multiple levels to ensure no Black life is cut short. That’s one reason we’re proud to be connecting and training the next generation of leaders through the Obama Foundation, and supporting boys and young men of color through the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. We have a long way to go. But my hope is that we can look back on this moment and the movement that emerged in response to this tragedy as one more step in our country’s journey to come to terms with our past. It will take all of us to make that a reality. Thank you for your support of this work. –Barack "

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