The Trayvon Martin Foundation held a star-studded dinner in Miami Sunday night to honor the teenager’s life.
The inaugural dinner, held at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel, wrapped a week of ceremonies to remember Martin, who would have turned 18 on February 5th. February also marks the one year anniversary of his death.
Jamie Foxx, one of several actors and activists at the event, serenaded the crowed with a bittersweet rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Authorities said Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer, on February 26, 2012. Martin's family won their fight to see Zimmerman charged with second degree murder. His trial is expected to begin in June.
Tickets for general seating at the dinner ranged from $75 to $125. Tables cost between $750 and $1,250. The dinner benefited the Trayvon Martin Foundation, an organization formed in Martin's honor. According to its website, the foundation seeks to amend Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which Zimmerman claimed as his defense.
Cedric the Entertainer spoke about the law at the event Sunday.
“I don't understand the stand your ground law," he said. “He was profiled, he was pursued and then he was prosecuted.”
Martin's death also represents a bigger battle against racial profiling and gun violence, a topic Jamie Foxx explored in his speech Sunday night.
“Don’t ever feel like that you are wrong for asking for something that is right,” said Foxx.
After the dinner, Local 10’s Christina Vazquez spoke with Foxx about how Martin’s death has come to symbolize a broader message.
“You know, as a country, we are failing. We are failing miserably when it comes to children and our lack of compassion, and figuring out how do we keep the guns from killing all of these children,” said Foxx.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Cedric the Entertainer.
“That's the main reason for being here now, is to keep that fire going keep that support going,” he said.