#TalkAboutTrayvon

A Toolkit for White People on the Fifth Anniversary of Trayvon’s Death

#talkabouttrayvon

Five years ago today, a teenage boy went out for a snack but never made it home to his loving family. A grown man took it upon himself to patrol his neighborhood and to shoot dead an unarmed, unassuming boy. Not only did a mother have to bury her young son, but she now watches his killer walk the streets free—free to brag about killing Trayvon, and free to commit more acts of violence.

We need to #TalkAboutTrayvon because, five years later, there are still no consequences when adults wave their guns around at Black and Brown kids. Police continue to mistreat, terrorize, and even murder boys and girls of color, and then walk free. We need to #TalkAboutTrayvon, share pictures of his sweet face, and remind each other what we continue to lose when we uphold a system that won’t punish people who kill Black children and adults. We are not only losing wonderful people—we are losing our humanity.

White communities are used to consciously and unconsciously maintaining the racist policies and practices that led to Travyon’s death—and, as white people, we must speak out against those policies and practices. When we remain silent and on the sidelines, we are complicit in maintaining these unjust systems. Our work is to get more white people who support us to take action toward racial justice—and to change the hearts and minds of those white people who are not yet with us.

When we #TalkAboutTrayvon, we tell grieving parents that we see them and acknowledge their pain. When we #TalkAboutTrayvon, we tell Black children that we are not afraid of them—we are only afraid they won’t get the bright future they deserve.

We need to #TalkAboutTrayvon, because white silence is violence. Use this toolkit to help spark conversation on Sunday, February 26, and beyond.

How to use the #TalkAboutTrayvon digital toolkit:

The #TalkAboutTrayvon toolkit contains sample content for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as images to share with your networks, friends, and family members. You can use the toolkit to:  

  1. Commemorate the anniversary of Trayvon’s death
  2. Have courageous conversation with friends and family with the help of the scripts provided
  3. Share, support, and offer donations for  the important work of the Trayvon Martin Foundation
  4. Continue the conversation about the serious implications of anti-Blackness and prejudicial policing and legislation on Black people

Movement for Black Lives Demands

  • We demand an end to the wars against Black people, reparations & targeted long-term investments to build a world where #BlackLivesMatter
  • We demand a defunding of systems institutions that criminalize & cage us. We demand economic justice & self-determination #BlackLivesMatter
  • We demand an end to the anti-Blackness that lead to Trayvon’s death #RememberingTrayvon #TalkAboutTrayvon #BlackLivesMatter #M4BL
  • We demand an end to state sanctioned violence against Black people. #RememberingTrayvon #TalkAboutTrayvon #BlackLivesMatter

Conversation Ideas:

White silence about race allows racism and white supremacy to be maintained. It’s important for those of us who are white to break white silence and have honest conversations with our friends, family, and neighbors. These conversations can help us find others to build with and change the minds of people who disagree with us about racial justice.

  • Can you believe it’s been five years since the murder of Trayvon Martin? Do you remember how you felt about that then? How about now? What’s different and what’s the same?
  • How has the changing political landscape shifted your understanding of the Trayvon Martin case?
  • For those of us who are white, it’s easier to check out and not talk about Travyon Martin, policing, or racial justice. What do you think it would take to get more white people talking about and taking action for racial justice in our community, school, neighborhood, or faith-based community?

Action Ideas

  • Donate to the Trayvon Martin Foundation yourself and/or throw a house party to raise funds for the Foundation from a group of family and friends.(SHORTLINK= http://bit.ly/TrMFdtn)
  • Host a screening of The 13th. The film is available for streaming on Netflix. You can screen it in your home with family and friends, or get a group you’re involved with to host the screening. You can find SURJ’s discussion guide on The 13th here. Download SURJ’s Justice for Trayvon Action Kit here.
  • Buy the new book Rest in Power by Trayvon’s parents. Buy one for a parent in your life who you wish to connect with around issues of race and criminalization. (SHORT LINK= http://bit.ly/RIPbook)
  • Buy and wear this hoodie to help spark conversations about the role of white folks in standing up against criminalization of communities of color: http://www.weareliberated.com/products/tryvon-hoodie (SHORTLINK= http://bit.ly/TMHoodie)
  • Ask your child’s school or your local faith community to read an excerpt from “Rest in Power” at an upcoming meeting, or organize a book group to read and talk about the book together.

Twitter accounts to follow/tag:

@TTMFoundation
@Blklivesmatter
@SybrinaFulton

Sample Twitter Language:

  • Trayvon wanted to be a pilot. #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • Trayvon was an honors English student, but he liked math more. #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • I am so sorry for your loss @SybrinaFulton. I can’t imagine your pain, but I will #TalkAboutTrayvon and support his legacy: http://bit.ly/TrMFdtn
  • Today we #TalkAboutTrayvon because white silence is violence. Join me to support @TTMFoundation http://bit.ly/TrMFdtn
  • What would Trayvon have been like in his 20s? We’ll never know. #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • How do you decide who belongs in your community? What’s the cost of making those decisions? #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • How many memories would Trayvon have made with his family these last five years? #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • It’s time we #TalkAboutTrayvon. Start conversations with an #OurSonTravyon hoodie http://bit.ly/TMHoodie — proceeds go to @TTMFoundation  
  • Do you call the police when you see a young Black man walking in your neighborhood? What would it look like to think about safety another way? #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • Until the killing of Black mothers’ sons is as important as the killing of white mothers’ sons, we need to #TalkAboutTrayvon
  • Not sure how to #TalkAboutTrayvon? Start by learning his story. #RestInPower is a new book from @SybrinaFulton & @BTraymartin9: http://bit.ly/RIPbook
  • What are you doing this weekend? Add #TalkAboutTrayvon to the list. Start convos with an #OurSonTrayvon hoodie: http://bit.ly/TMHoodie
  • No parents should go through what @SybrinaFulton & @BTraymartin9 did. That’s why we must #TalkAboutTrayvon

Sample Facebook Language:

  • Let’s #TalkAboutTrayvon, because five years later, adults are still waving their guns around at Black and Brown kids and facing no consequences. Police continue to shoot Black children, women, men, and gender non-conforming people—and then walk free. White people need to be outraged about this if things are going to change—and we must move beyond outrage and into action. Speak out. Take action. #TalkAboutTrayvon and support his legacy: http://bit.ly/TrMFdtn
  • I want to take a minute to #TalkAboutTrayvon on the fifth anniversary of his death. Trayvon Martin loved his family so much that he got tattoos of their names on his body. He was in honors English, but he liked math better. He dreamed of becoming a pilot. Trayvon was a 17-year-old son, student and boyfriend. Yet he was murdered five years ago because someone decided he didn’t belong in their neighborhood. And his murderer was not punished because people think it’s understandable to be afraid of black boys. So let’s #TalkAboutTrayvon so we can remember that being afraid of black people is something we are taught is “normal,” but is also something we can unlearn. Donate to the Trayvon Martin Foundation today: http://bit.ly/TrMFdtn
  • White people, have you ever felt afraid around young black people? That’s not an accident — white folks are taught to fear black folks in order to justify policing and police violence. Too many of us don’t know any young black people personally — and, as a result, we believe the limiting, stereotypical images of black people we see in the news and in pop culture. So let’s #TalkAboutTrayvon. Trayvon Martin loved his family so much that he got tattoos of their names on his body. He was in Honors English, but he liked math better. He dreamed of becoming a pilot. Trayvon was a 17 year old son, student and boyfriend. Yet all his killer saw was someone to be afraid of. The next time you see a black person in your neighborhood, remember Trayvon instead of calling the cops or the neighborhood watch. Learn more about alternatives to police that can help keep boys like Trayvon safe.
  • What are you doing this weekend? Sybrina Fulton is recognizing the fifth anniversary of the murder of her son, Trayvon Martin. Join me to #TalkAboutTrayvon. Start conversations with the new #OurSonTrayvon hoodie. Proceeds benefit the Trayvon Martin Foundation: http://bit.ly/TMHoodie
  • No matter what else you are doing this weekend, make sure you #TalkAboutTrayvon on the fifth anniversary of his murder. We need to remember him, and we must ask ourselves what we will commit to doing to create a world where kids don’t get shot on their way home from buying a snack. You could also donate ( http://bit.ly/TrMFdtn) to the foundation his mother started to remember Trayvon and to support kids and families like his.
  • For those of us who are white, we need to #TalkAboutTrayvon and then get to work taking action for racial justice. On the fifth anniversary of Trayvon’s murder, join me in {INSERT THE ACTION YOU ARE TAKING and link to how others can join you}.

Snapchat/ Facebook Live/ Video:

Consider posting a short video starting with the phrase “Talk About Traycon…” and tagging #TalkAboutTrayvon in the post. Here are some examples of short scripts you could use, or make your own.

  • #TalkAboutTrayvon because bias against Black people is pervasive–and can be deadly. His death changed my life, and I’ll never forget Trayvon or stop fighting to end the racism that led to his death.
  • #TalkAboutTrayvon because Black children and people  are not safe in a country that doesn’t value their lives. Today, I’m remembering Trayvon, and I’m making a donation to the Trayvon Martin Foundation to support his family’s commitment to ending state sanctioned violence against Black people.
  • #TalkAboutTrayvon because there can be no liberation until we put Black lives at the center. I’ll never stop fighting for a world where #BlackLivesMatter.