Launching Black History Month, the University of New Mexico Africana Studies recently hosted a brunch in the Student Union Building featuring keystone speaker Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Before the event that took her son’s life, Fulton said she was just an average person, an everywoman. "I want people to know that this can happen to anyone. I want people to know that today it was my son, but tomorrow it could be someone else's."

Fulton and ex-husband Tracy Martin founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation to honor their son, and have committed their lives to transforming tragedy into change by working to ensure the survival of every child through education and thoughtful conversations about conflict resolution.

Burying her son was a wake up call, Fulton said, the time to make a choice. “I am either going to be part of the problem or part of the solution," she said. "I refuse to be part of the problem.”

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

Following are more events for Africana Studies 2014 Black History Month:

Voices from the African Diaspora: A Celebration through Performance, Poetry & Storytelling 

Thursday, Feb. 6, 4-6 p.m., Student Union Building (SUB) Fiesta A & B
“Annotated Spirituals” a performance by Anthony Brown

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 4-6 p.m., Student Union Building (SUB) Fiesta A & B
"Imagine: Different" a poetic conversation with creative writer Anton Niblett

Thursday, Feb. 20, 4-6 p.m., Zimmerman Library, Walters Room
“‘Watermelon! Watermelon! Got em red to the rind’: African American Women Street Vendors and their Performances with Food,” a lecture by Psyche Williams-Forson, associate professor in American Studies, University of Maryland College Park.

Thursday, Feb. 27, 4-6 p.m., Student Union Building (SUB) Fiesta A & B   
“Students share stories: UNM’s Young, Gifted, & Black.” Panel on being a McNair Scholar

For more information on Black History Month, contact Belinda Deneen Wallace at or visit Africana Studies.