Years after a 2019 video tribute went viral and caught the attention of Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton that lead to an invitation to travel to Miami and participate in the annual Trayvon Martin Foundation Peace Walk and Talk, Omega Lamplighters, Inc. continue to keep the relationship and travel down annually.
Recently the program took 12 youth members and three of its program leadership team back down for the 10th Memorial event honoring the memory of Martin, who was from Miami Gardens, was shot and killed 10 years ago this month in Central Florida. Saturday, Feb. 5, would have been his 27th birthday.
In 2019 Omega Lamplighters named Trayvon Martin an honorary member of the program and presented Fulton with some program paraphernalia representing Martin. Since then, the group has traveled down every year except for 2021 a virtual program.
This year the program’s nationally ranked Light (step) Team was invited to perform a step-in memory of Martin during the event.
“I was in the second grade and 7 years old when Trayvon was killed,” said Jaylen Ezekiel, President Omega Lamplighters. “I still can’t believe it’s been 10 years; I was honored to be here again this year and to be able to perform in his memory is something I’ll never forget.”
This year’s walk and talk included words from Jamie Foxx, Tamika Mallory, Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s Father and Sybrina to name a few.
Also, in attendance were Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd an African American man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year; Gwenn Carr, mother of Eric Garner, an unarmed African American man killed by police on Staten Island in 2014 after the incident was captured on cellphone video that showed Garner shouting “I can’t breathe” 11 times and Jaqueline Johnson, Mother of Kendrick Johnson the 17 year old Valdosta teen whose body was discovered in a rolled up gym matt.
Currently the Omega Lamplighters continue to honor Trayvon through discussions of his story in program mentoring sessions, provide youth and community members with Trayvon Martin wristbands and pins and sharing his story in the community and via social media. The program is planning to play tribute to him in its Light House community center.
“Trayvon is our kids and our kids are Trayvon, his story is their story, it’s our story and we must never forget” said Royle King II, Founder of Omega Lamplighters, Inc. “It’s a proud moment for Me to see our youth stand up for something in their own way and they do it through step, telling his story and by being the best versions of themselves, they inspire me.”
Anyone that is interested in signing up for the Omega Lamplighters program should visit omegalamplighters.org. The program is not only for high school males, but also offers an Omega Junior Lamplighters Program for fourth – eighth-grade students. Applications are being accepted from now until April 1.
For more information about the Trayvon Martin Foundation, visit trayvonmartinfoundation.org.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Omega Lamplighters perform step at Trayvon Martin event