CINCINNATI -- The parents of an unarmed black Florida teenager who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer plan to participate in a town hall conference in Cincinnati on violence and racial healing.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton will speak Wednesday at the Children's Defense Fund 's national conference in downtown Cincinnati. The event will take place at about 10:45 a.m. at the Duke Energy Center, 525 Elm Street.
The February shooting of their son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, led to nationwide protests over race and self-defense laws after police didn't arrest the shooter, George Zimmerman, for more than a month.
Zimmerman now faces a charge of second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty. He claims that Martin attacked him, saying he was defending himself under Florida's "stand your ground" law.
Martin's parents will be accompanied by their lawyer Benjamin Crump and will speak alongside a panel with Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Maya Angelou and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss.
Children's Defense Fund, a non-profit child advocacy organization, is hosting the event at the convention center from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, which is the conference's fourth day.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin sparked a wildfire of demonstrations by young people on social media and around the country and the Children's Defense Fund is expecting many young people to attend the conference to address these and other issues of concern, according to information on its website .
This month Ebony Magazine posted an article on a recent study by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement on what is being called a spike in "extrajudicial" killings since Trayvon Martin was killed. The topic is trending on Twitter under #every36hours.
To read the article, go to www.ebony.com/news-views/report-reveals-spike-in-extrajudicial-killings .
For more information about Wednesday's event, go to http://www.childrensdefense.org/newsroom/cdf-in-the-news/press-releases/2012/cdf-national-conference-hosts.html