This weekend, Jay Z joined hundreds of marchers for the sixth annual Peace Walk & Peace Talk rally—a Central Florida event that honors the memory of Trayvon Martin as well as other victims of gun violence.
As pointed out by the Miami Herald, the rapper stood alongside Trayvon’s family Saturday to deliver a powerful message about the slain teen’s legacy.
“We want to make sure that we stand and support and we never forget [that] Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to the people out here, so you guys never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys went through,” he told the crowd at the Betty T. Ferguson Amphitheatre. “His name will sit alongside some of the greats whom lost their life to push our culture forward—the Martin Luther Kings, the Ghandis; that’s the intention that we set, that his name serves as a beacon of light and hope, and pushes us into a better direction.”
The Peace Walk & Peace Talk rally was established in 2012, shortly after an unarmed Trayvon was fatally shot by George Zimmerman. The 17-year-old’s death sparked national outrage and ignited new debates about gun laws and racial profiling. Zimmerman was eventually acquitted on all murder charges after a jury found that he was protected under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
“It means a lot to the community when you see people like Jay Z who come out to support your cause,” said Brenda Martin Providence, a friend of Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton. “With everything going on, we all need to support the cause because our youth are dying in the streets. A lot of mothers are missing their children. For me, personally, my son will be 40 in a couple of days, and I have two grandsons. We all need to come out and show our support and walk for the community.”
In 2017, Jay revealed he was teaming up with the Weinstein Company to produce a film and docuseries about Trayvon’s death; however, in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the status of the project is currently unknown.