Nearly eight years since news of his tragic death made headlines, Trayvon Martin will be honored in his native city.
Miami Dade-County commissioners approved a resolution to name a portion of Northeast 16th Avenue after the late teen. Before the end of the week, the roadway outside of Martin’s high school Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High will be named Trayvon Martin Avenue.
“Although borne out of tragedy, a new generation of activists was inspired by Trayvon Martin’s death, and his name and image are recognized across the world and associated with the fight for social justice,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan wrote in the resolution. “This board appreciates the social justice reforms spurred by his death, recognizes all that his legacy could have been and would like to honor the life and memory of Trayvon Benjamin Martin.”
Martin was fatally shot in February 2012 amid his return home from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida. Gunman George Zimmerman alleged he was acting in self-defense and was ultimately acquitted in the case.
According to the memo, Martin “was a typical teenager who enjoyed playing video games, listening to music, watching movies and talking and texting on the phone.” The 17-year-old “was also developing advanced mechanical skills and…was known to be able to build and fix dirt bikes.” He was reportedly planning to attend college at either the University of Miami or Florida A&M University where he would have pursued a career in aviation, but his “future dreams and goals were extinguished before he had a chance to achieve them.”
Martin’s death prompted the start of the Black Lives Matter hashtag and the Trayvon Martin Foundation. The former ultimately developed into a full-blown social justice organization. The latter — founded by Martin’s parents — helps to “raise awareness, initiate dialogue, and engage individuals about social justice issues and reforms.”
According to the memo, the fatal shooting “elicited national conversations about race relations, racial profiling, gun rights, stand your ground laws and was a catalyst that set nationwide demands for social justice in motion.”