Father of Trayvon Martin touts black people in W-S speech

Father of Trayvon Martin touts black people in W-S speech
November 25
00:00 2015
Tracy Martin delivers his message during 12th annual Corner 2 Corner Drug Dealer and Street Life Conference hosted by Union Baptist Church on Sunday, Nov. 22.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

After his son was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch in Sanford, Florida, Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, committed his life to bringing a change to the perspective of black males and females in America.

Martin uses his endless heartache as strength to make sure a similar incident doesn’t take the life of another young person.

“We all have a perception of someone when we first see them,” he said. “I’m all about changing the perspective that every African-American male or female is a drug dealer or a hustler.”

Martin was the keynote speaker for the 12th annual Corner 2 Corner (C2C) Drug Dealers and Street Life Conference, hosted by Union Baptist Church. The conference is designed to galvanize those who have fallen into the street life.

Participation in the program was free and open to those on probation for drug-related charges, individuals in substance abuse centers, and rehabilitation programs.

Through the course of three days, participants engaged in a number of workshops, sessions and worship services. Job link services and health screenings are provided as well.

The conference culminates with a graduation ceremony complete with caps and gowns to celebrate achievement.

During his message to the C2C participants and members of the Union Baptist congregation, Martin said that instead of waiting until something happens in our own neighborhoods to begin fighting injustice, we should all be proactive.

“Mothers and fathers always are calling me asking, what they can do to shed some light on a injustice that has happened in their backyard,” he said. “I just like to say don’t wait until it hits your backyard. In order to prevent injustice we have to be aggressive.”

When he first heard about the conference, Martin said it really hit home.

“I’m from the area of East St. Louis, Illinois, where the population is predominantly black, so I know the struggles of being in the streets,” he continued. “This conference is all about changing that perspective.”

“It’s our duty to help change their lives around.”

During a press conference, Bishop Sir Walter Mack Jr., pastor of Union Baptist, said that after seeing a drug deal take place near the church, he realized how drug abuse, and gang violence affects the lives of people in the community on a daily basis. Thus, the C2C Conference came to life.

“I started to think, we have all these resources within the church but yet we could not reach him,” he continued. “So we decided to reach out, to offer them support.”

A number of participants in this year’s program mentioned they learned a lot from the C2C conference. Cassondra Wilson said she is confident her record will not hold her back from being successful.

“After attending the conference, I know how blessed I really am,” she said. “This program really helped to reinstate that into my mind.”

Union Baptist also offers a C2C Remix Program. The program is a follow-up to the conference and provides participants with guidance and counseling throughout the year. For more information on the C2C programs, visit

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