UNM Africana Studies has created and hosted a Black History Month Kickoff Brunch for more than 25 years. The brunch has featured renowned civil rights leaders, activists, political leaders, artistic fellows and economic powerhouses from the Black community. This year, 2014, is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. The national theme for Black History Month is Civil Rights in America. 

Africana Studies launches the celebration at the University of New Mexico with its Annual Black History Month Kickoff Brunch featuring Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. in the Student Union Building Ballrooms. Tickets for the brunch are $30 and are available at: www.unmtickets.com or by calling the UNM Ticket Office at 505-925-5858 or toll free at 877-664-8661. For table sales, contact Alfred Mathewson at mathewson@law.unm.edu or 505-277-5820. 

Fulton is dedicating her life to transforming family tragedy into social change. Since the death of her 17 year old son during a violent confrontation in 2012, Fulton has become an inspiring spokesperson for parents and concerned citizens across the country. The publicity surrounding Trayvon’s death and the ensuing trial catapulted the country into national debate. Despite the intense struggle of losing a child, Fulton has become a role model to many by turning her grief into advocacy. Remaining strong throughout the trial and ensuing months, she lends her voice to speak against violence towards children and the need to build better, safer communities for all.

A Miami native, Fulton graduated from Florida Memorial University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English. A proud mother, Fulton worked for the Miami-Dade County Housing Development Agency for more than 25 years, and is a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens.