Listen Now

How Trayvon Martin’s Mother, Sybrina Fulton, Turned Her Pain Into Power!

06/30/20

Full Transcript

DATE: JULY 2, 2020

TAPE: Z-61077V

ALWAYS EVOLVING WITH COACH MIKE

GUEST: SYBRINA FULTON

 

(START OF PODCAST)

 

MIKE BAYER: Welcome back to Always Evolving with Coach Mike, today I’m honored to welcome Sybrina Fulton, who’s the mother of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was gunned down and murdered by George Zimmerman in 2012. This racially-charged crime gripped the nation. George Zimmerman was found not guilty and the country erupted in protests and launched the Black Lives Matter movement and gave birth to a new civil rights movement that’s occurring still today. So nice to meet you, Sybrina.

SYBRINA FULTON: Nice to meet you, too, Coach Mike.

MIKE: Wish it was under different circumstances and um, I really appreciate you taking the time to come on with me. You’re in Miami right now, right?

SYBRINA: Yes. Yes, I love it here; my hometown.

MIKE: Since the verdict you’ve made it your mission to have your voice heard, and most recently you attended George Floyd’s funeral—what’d you say to his family?

SYBRINA: Um, I told his family, um—just to back up a little bit—uh, I really was toying with if I should go or not. Um, with the COVID virus and just, you know, just all the emotions that come with it. So I really was like, “Oh no, I wanna stay home. No I should go for the family.” Um, all that went out the window once I met the family. Um, I just told them, you know, I was there for them. I support them. I just wanted them to know that they were not alone and that my family, along with other families, um, were there to support them. And so that meant a lot, you know, when I got the book from a few of the brothers and everything I, that meant a lot to me and I know it meant a lot to them. And so it just made the trip worth going um, once I knew that um, they knew that I was there and I was supportin’ them. I’m not gonna let up, I’m gonna continue, you know, with them supportin’ them, standing with them because it’s important to know that you’re not alone.

MIKE: What, what was the experience like for you being there?

SYBRINA: It was very emotional. Um, (STAMMERS) I posted a few pictures and I said it was emotional. I um, I did uh, view the body and when I viewed the body I said to myself, “Why? Why did this happen?” Like, “Why? WHY?” I could not, um, I, I was crying and I just couldn’t see, I couldn’t understand why this had to happen. And it wasn’t until the funeral started that I really realized, you know, why it had to happen because (STAMMERS) it not only happened for George but so many other uh, brown and black people. It, it just, he just stood for so many people. He stood for so many people who already passed away and for the ones that, you know, headin’ to that direction. And so I, I just, it just broke my heart, it really did.

MIKE: What was like the, in terms of like the sermon and how the energy was, like, were people angry? Were they, uh, confused?

SYBRINA: The funeral was very emotional for, for a lot of people. You could see that they, they have a huge family. Um, the family (STAMMERS) was there. Uh, you had some celebrities there. They were emotional as well, you know, you can’t separate people. When you are, when you love people you can’t separate uh, the, the people who lost a child with the people who have not, like, all of us are in this together because at any given time they could be sitting in the same seat that I’m sitting in. And so um, it was an uplifting. It started out being really sad, but by the time the music was playing and singing and all the inspirational words, it kind of lift me up and I’m sure it lifted the family up and it was a very decent and respectable homegrown service. That’s what I would say. It was very, very uh, riveting. It was very tense. But at the same it was, it was emotional, but it was a very beautiful. He was put away very beautifully.

MIKE: Do you think the killing of George Floyd will finally bring about much needed change?

SYBRINA: I think it absolutely will. I am very hopeful that change will come. I, I’ve been to so many protests. I’ve been to so many rallies. I’ve been to…just numerous community meetings and…uh, Congress, in, in DC, Tallahassee, New York, everywhere. And, and there has definitely been a shift in things, you know? Where it was predominantly African Americans that have been experiencing these tragedies, now we have been experiencing what other people have now joined with us and collectively we can make a change of, I uh, noticed that all walks of life, I mean, the LGBTQ community along with Blacks, Whites, different religions, different educational levels, different income levels, everybody is like, involved. And um, I, I definitely feel hopeful that change will come.

MIKE: Why do you think time it will be different?

SYBRINA: I think this time will be different number one because there’s so many different people, you know, that’s one of the biggest differences is that there are different people now that have joined uh, that have joined with us in support of Black Lives Matter. That’s one thing. The other thing is I certainly believe that the camera had a lot to do with it. Had you heard about uh, somebody, the police officer puttin’ his knee on George’s neck it’s different from you actually seeing a man being killed in front of your face. Like, you actually saw that occurring. It’s like you can’t see something and take it back.

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: Once we saw that, we felt obligated that we have to do something, because now you can’t take it back. You can’t say, “Oh, I didn’t know that this was occurring. Okay, you know that this is occurring, you’ve heard that this is occurring, you’ve read that this is occurring and now you see that this has occurred. And so I think that had a very uh, strong impact on people wanting to get involved and wanting to do something about the problems that we have been experiencing our whole life.

MIKE: Mm hmm. Do you think that the police should be defunded in this country?

SYBRINA: Well, a lot of people say that word and it, I think it’s a little bit confusing when they say “Defund the police department” because, just like myself, I think there’s some other people that were also a little bit confused by it, too. I think people, when we heard “Defund the police department” we were on, you know, under the impression that they were gonna get rid of police. Um, it was never said at first. You know, it came from the protestors but it was never said what that actually meant so it confused a lot of people, including myself um, but then once I did a little research on it I found out that they were not talking about just get rid of the police department um, they were saying to reallocate some of the funds that go towards the police department to other areas. Um, such as social work, such as, uh, youth programs and things like that. And I absolutely think that should happen. We should review that, we should analyze that and if we need to make those decisions we need to move ahead with those decisions. We had an incident down here not long ago where a mother uh, could not deal with her son who was mentally ill and she called the police, she told them everything she needed to, “Listen, he’s mentally ill. He hasn’t been taking his medicine and I don’t know what to do.” Well, the police came out and when the police came out he was shot and killed because they thought he was a threat to them. But you have to understand he probably was a threat to himself as well. But if you’re dealing with somebody that’s mentally ill, they don’t know how to deal with people that’s mentally ill. And so I’m pretty sure that her mom would not have called the police had she known that they were gonna kill her son. But that’s just to show you that we could be allocating that money in other areas so, such as mental illness and so I really believe that we need to take a look and see some other areas that, that needs the attention but not actually the attention of the police department so I’m, I’m for that.

MIKE: So I imagine, like, everything that happened with Trayvon and the police—afterwards did you have a reaction every time you saw the police?

SYBRINA: No.

MIKE: No.

SYBRINA: And the reason why I say no, um, number one is because the person who shot and killed my son was not a police officer—he was a wannabe cop—um, but he was a neighborhood vigilante and he did decide to take the law into his own hands. Um, when Trayvon was, you know, 17 years old, he was unarmed. I mean, he had a loaded gun, you know, and so that’s not how you handle a situation so, just like the police need to de-escalate and, and come up with some other ways to um, of conflict resolution, so does the vigilantes that have these shotguns such as the case in Brunswick, Georgia with Ahmaud Arbery um, you, you can’t just take, grab your gun and take the law into your own hands. But um, every time these cases come up, it’s definitely triggers. Um, some cases I have to be quiet, because it’s too overwhelming for me and, and sometimes I’m able to speak, I’m able to talk, I’m able to do interviews and reach out to the family and sometimes I’m not, you know? And, and that’s only because I struggle with my own, uh, trauma and issues that I’ve gone through with my own 17-year-old son.

MIKE: Mm hmm. I saw Rest in Power and was blown away by it. So blown away that that is the vehicle that started getting me to go to all the Black Lives Matter marches and protests…

SYBRINA: Mm hmm.

MIKE: …you, you couldn’t help but watch and just, my heart was just aching for you.

SYBRINA: It was quite a bit. Um, thank God before the docuseries we wrote the book and so the most part of the heartache I had gotten out of my system, but then we started working on the docuseries everything just came back and you know some days we were able to film, some days we were not. You know, I mean, I don’t try to be, you know, somebody that I’m not if I’m having a bad day, I’m having an emotional day, I usually tell the film crew “I’m not gonna be able to do this today” and then they reschedule for the next day and then, you know, hopefully I’m better by then but, you know, I’ve had some bad days.

MIKE: Yeah. And well I, I think um, you bringing that story to light…I didn’t know, you know, I follow a lot of this but I had no idea until I watched that—why do you think that story about George Zimmerman wasn’t out there? Like, for us all to know?

SYBRINA: Um, because you had people who wanted us to just be quiet. You had people that did not want the story to be out there; they didn’t want that tragedy to be out there, because now you’re dealing with not only racial profiling, but what you’re do-dealing with a teenager. And Trayvon, mind, thought as a teenager, he did things that a teenager would do. So of course he ran. Of course he was on the phone, but he, he had no clue what to do when somebody with a loaded gun is chasing him down. And so…even when I heard the 9-1-1 tape and I heard the, the person yelling, “Help!” I mean I, I’m no scientist but I know if you have a loaded gun and you 28 years old and you have a 17-year-old kid here um, you’re not yelling for help with a loaded gun.

MIKE: Mm hmm.

SYBRINA: And so I absolutely knew that was Trayvon’s voice yelling for his life. And then to have this person to still take his life—(STAMMERS) he was no comparison. And so I’ll tell people all the time Trayvon was a 17-year-old teenager who thought and did and acted as a 17-year-old teenager. This man had a loaded gun that was chasing my son, that followed my son, pursued my son and eventually shot and killed my son.

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: But the reason why we’re back at square one is because you still have people in this world who don’t view African Americans as being a human being. They view African Americans as being ¾ humans. They view African Americans as animals and not of their equal, and not just a human being, they don’t see us as human beings. And so that’s part of the problem. So when the jury convened and everything and they decided what they wanted to do and they came up with a verdict, well none of those people looked like me or my son.

MIKE: Mmm. Do you think the DA fumbled the case?

SYBRINA: I think the case was fumbled so many times; so many times. But I, I just think like right now I’m just so hopeful, Mike, I’m just really, really hopeful that things will change and there are no more, uh, Trayvon Martins and uh, Mike Browns and Tamir Rice and Eric Garners and George and uh, Breonna Taylors and…just all the names that we heard. You just, you can’t imagine how often this happens for African Americans like, this is something that some people, eyes are just being opened to, we’ve been dealing with this since day one.

MIKE: And do you remember growing up what it was like for you being African American where you felt like, “I’m being treated differently”?

SYBRINA: For myself, I remember an incident and for my son I remember an incident. For myself I really didn’t…I’m gonna say that profiling and discrimination didn’t hit me until I was in college.

MIKE: Hmm.

SYBRINA: And I can honestly say that because my life was pretty much sheltered. I mean, my mom or my dad, you know, my mom and dad took me where I needed to go. I mean, I didn’t really have to take the public transportation and things like that. So they would take me so I, I would go this place and I would come back home and I would go that place and I was, you know, a regular social butterfly. I did everything that everybody did. You know, I had a, a good life. I had 95% of my life was happy. And so I didn’t have issues like being arrested and drugs and cigarette smoking and finding a job and losing a job. My first job I was in 12th grade and I was like, “It’s too hot there, I can’t work there anymore” and my mom was like, “Good, I didn’t want you to have that job anyway.” And so, um, I went off to college and everything and that’s when the, the first time I experienced discrimination.

MIKE: What was that experience like?

SYBRINA: That was uh, we played, I went to college and we played a uh, rival school—and I’m intentionally not saying the names of the school, uh, the schools—but we played a rival school and we got on this bus and we went to a, a different area from where we were and uh, when we got off the bus, I went to a predominantly black school and the school that was a rival was a predominantly white school but we went to their school and um, when we got off the bus we were called names, you know, uh, they didn’t throw anything at us getting off the bus but when we got back on the bus, they threw things at the bus. So that was my first experience, like, “What, what just happened?” you know? And um, it, it was pretty tragic for us, you know, ’cause we was just college students. We was just going to have a good time. We just wanted to win, you know, it was just like, just there to have a good time and, and just to experience that just because we were black was like, “What, what just happened?”

MIKE: You don’t wanna name the school because you don’t wanna shed a light on the school?

SYBRINA: No…well, it’s been so long, the people have been gone and hopefully they changed their mindset. So I’m gonna say that, you know, I’m more hopeful than not that they changed their mindset. Things they do as a, you know, 20-year-old you, you probably should not be doing right now. And so I’m just gonna say that situation and hopefully they moved on, hopefully they’ve grown up a little bit and they understand that people are people regardless of the color of their skin.

MIKE: And you were saying that at first there was a situation, too, where you realized for your son when he would start being discriminated against?

SYBRINA: Well, he went to a predominantly white school and he used to be invited to things but I used to always have to tell him, “Let me know if people treat you different and I wanna explain this to you.” And then one time I did have to explain it to him. Um, that people were gonna treat him different because his skin was, was black and that their skin was not. So I said “If that happens, you stay away from them.” You know, you don’t have to be friends with somebody’s who’s not going to treat you a certain way, a certain way, a certain standard that you expect. If you give this person respect then they should respect you. And I, I just wanted him to know that ahead of time. So I mentioned it to him prior to and I don’t think it happened, maybe the first two times he hung out. But then um, maybe the third or fourth time or whatever, that’s when he came to me and he said that he noticed a difference with certain kids and I said, “You stay away from them because they’re not your friends The only reason why they treatin’ you like that is ’cause the color of your skin.” ’Cause he’s a real cool dude.

MIKE: Why do you, I mean, you probably…have learned so much about racism, discrimination, bias, law, politics, power, money, you know, just so much and, and I just want your point of view—what do you think drives people being racist?

SYBRINA: Now, I don’t have a complete understanding because that’s not me. But I think when it, I think it’s generational. I think their grandparents which—most people knew their grandparents—I think their grandparents was, were racist. I think their parents…

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: …are racist and so they become racist. And so I think it’s a matter of breaking the generational curse of treating people…

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: …in a certain manner. Um, we were taught to treat people with respect regardless of their race, the color of their skin, sexual orientation, religion or any one of those things. So that’s what we were taught. But we didn’t own slaves. The family that I grew up in and the families that I’ve known, we didn’t own slaves. We didn’t own people. You own property, you own cars, you own money and businesses and things like that, and animals. You don’t own people. And so that mentality is still with a lot of people. That mentality of owning people is still with a lot of people. That’s why they hire certain people. I had no clue that’s why you have a lot of white people hire white people who are minorities, because they’re used to owning people. And if you have a, a housekeeper, well she can’t be, she has to be black or Mexican or, or, you know, some type of minority. (STAMMERS) You have to hire, you can’t hire somebody of your equal value for you to feel superior. And I think a lot of people, they have that problem. A lot of white people have that problem where they have to feel superior and so it is…

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: …a mindset because this same exact family structure they have so do we, as African Americans. We love our family, too. We don’t wanna see our family…

MIKE: Mm hmm.

SYBRINA …being abused, hurt and, and treated in a disrespectful manner. It’s a mindset.

MIKE: You’re now running for office. Walk me through how…how that happens and when you were, you made that decision.

SYBRINA: Okay, this was something that was a rumor that was out a few years ago. I had no intentions of running for office and I simply answered the question that a reporter asked about me running for office. I was like, “No” I said “Now what I am doing…” and I don’t know maybe it leaked out, um, I was just like doing my homework. Like researching some vacant positions, researching what’s available and, and you know how, how long the terms are and exactly what they do and how much traveling it entails because I travel a great deal, um, with, with the Speaking Bureau. I, I speak professionally with the Speaking Bureau and I just wanna make sure it didn’t have a lot of travelling like I’m doing now and things like that, so, kind of researched the position and then when I was like, pretty much settled on a position, um, of what I wanted to run for which was Miami-Dade County commissioner of District 1, um, the seat is gonna be vacant this year and so the election is August 18th. Um, the person that’s sitting there is an African American woman, she termed out, her name is Barbara Jordan, she did a great job. I decided that since I worked for Miami-Dade County for 24 years, um, I worked in five different departments within Miami-Dade County as an employee. My great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and myself all lived in District 1. I grad-I went to elementary school, middle school, high school and I graduated from college here in District 1. Um, I have a lot of family that’s here in District 1 and you know, I feel like I’m connected to, to District 1. I’m connected to Miami-Dade County and so that to me and just seeing the things that happened, knowing the things that I complain about as a resident. I just feel like, let me give it a shot. Maybe this is my next level to, um, advocacy, uh, community, advocacy, what I’m doing right now. So what I decided that I would just pray on it and it took almost a year for me to see some type of sign. Um, the sign is really crazy. I was in um, New York at Reverend Sharpton’s National Action Network conference and uh, I was on a panel with some other moms and so now it’s my turn to speak and you got a couple hundred people that’s out there and you know, I was talking about advocacy work and, and being a national figure and with, with, you know, my passion is local. My passion is local government but I’m just on a national level because of who I’m connected to and by the mere fact that I speak, you know, publicly. And speak nationally. So I was on the panel and now it’s my turn to speak and I was like, uh, well as a community activist sometimes, you know, you definitely have to act. Um, it’s an action word. You have to protest. You have to march. You have to write letters. You have to uh, call your, uh your politicians and sometimes you have to run for office. And so I get this gut feelin’ and I’m like, “Uh oh…” and so I’m thinking, “Maybe I’m hungry” you know? “Maybe this is not a sign. Maybe I’m hungry.” So I was like, brushed it off a little bit…

MIKE: (LAUGHS)

SYBRINA: …but it was on my mind. A few weeks later I was in, um, Pittsburgh. I was on the stage with Chuck D. I was speaking to some students and a college in Pittsburgh and um, it’s my turn to speak and so when I said, uh as a community activist, you know, uh, who speaks on a national level, I said, “You know, sometimes you have to protest. Sometimes you have to march and go to rallies. Sometimes you have to sign petitions and write letters. Sometimes you have to cal your politicians. And sometimes you have to run for office.” And I got that feeling again and I was like, “Oh Lord…Lord, oh my God…” I was like, feeling like, “Okay, this is it. I gotta do it” and so I went back home. I didn’t say anything, um, to anybody ’cause, you know, you have your people that talk things out of you—I didn’t want anybody to talk me out of it. I just wanted to do it. If I can do it, just do it. And so I stayed focused on it, I called a few of my family together, I called a few friends and I said, “Listen, I’m gonna be running for Miami-Dade County commissioner.” And they was like, “What? Why did you run for mayor? Why didn’t you run for congress? Why didn’t you run for State Rep?” See, that’s the reason I didn’t tell anybody in the first place. Um, local government is at a certain level and I believe since I have so many years of experience with Miami-Dade County, I know about government in Miami-Dade County. So I was like, “No, I don’t want to do all those things—this is what I want to do.” And I was very direct because this is what I want to do. I don’t know, it just took off from there, you know? You know, a lot of people got excited about it. Um, I made an announcement last year in May. It’s been a year and um, I just been campaigning for a year and um, it slowed down a little bit with the COVID but we up and running. I’ve been going to meetings and taking to people. Sending mail and mailers out and social media and, just doing my thing trying to get the word out that if you’re looking a change here in Miami-Dade County, I’m your person. Like, if you want business as usual then you, you probably want to elect somebody else but I’m coming in with fresh new perspective, fresh new eyes, fresh new ideas and not business as usual.

MIKE: And who are you running against?

SYBRINA: I’m running against a guy named Oliver Gilbert. Um, he’s already a politician now and um, I just think people are tired of the same old thing. I think they really want a change. They really want somebody that’s going to make a difference. They can trust me, um, I’m committed. I’m passionate and they can trust me to do the right thing and so I just believe that people will believe in me enough to say, “Okay, she’s the voice for the residents. She’s not just your, an average politician with their average thoughts and just doing their average things, you know, just to get by. She would definitely make a difference in this seat for our community.” And that’s what I wanna do.

MIKE: Trayvon sounds like an amazing kid, amazing son and what do you think if he was here right now what you’ve done with your activism and running for office—what do you think he would, what do you think his reaction would be?

SYBRINA: Well, it’s easy to say that because you know, I have an older son named Javaris and um, I just listen to him. He’s just so excited about what I’m doing. He’s so excited…

MIKE: What does he say to you?

SYBRINA: He says, he’s proud—he’s very, very proud. He uh, we Facetime a lot. He’s smiling, he’s saying, “What are you getting into today?” Um, he, he, I have been interviewing and seen, you know, he’s been seeing me on a lot of different shows and he’s like, “Oh, well I didn’t know you were doing MSNBC or CNN or ABC” he’s like, I don’t always tell him and sometimes he’s watching and he sees his mom it’s like, “Wow!” Like, you know, he, he’s really excited when he’s happy for me. He supports me 100%. Um, he’s in New York right now, but he’ll be here to support me and, maybe knock on a few doors, put up a few signs and everything, but uh, he’s really happy. He’s really happy and proud of me and it makes me feel good.

MIKE: That’s beautiful. You know a lot of people don’t have the ability to take pain and trauma and struggle and get the resilience to take it and make real change happen. That’s what we want out of leaders. We want people who…who understand what it’s like to go through horrible situations and use those situations to better improve our lives, all of our lives. How are you confident in yourself through all of this?

SYBRINA: Well, I haven’t always been confident in myself. I can say that. Um, as you can see I’m very open and I’m very honest, you know? Um, I still have my rainy days where I’m sad about my son not being here. I’m gonna have them the rest of my life. Time doesn’t heal all wounds—that’s just not the truth—but you certainly can redirect your energy into a positive way. I had to make a conscientious decision that I did not wanna be too depressed ’cause it, it would have been easy for me to be depressed and me not do anything and people would understand, you know, even now…

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: …they would understand. Um, they would look at me and say, “Well she’s been through so much,” you know, “she’s having a hard time. She’s having some mental illness. She’s having…” whatever the case may be but I decided that since I live my life 95% happy I just did not wanna be the person that I was becoming. I’m always been inspirational. I’ve always been motivational. Always like, just put my mind to something and stay focused on it; just do it. I’ve always been like that. So I can say that trials and tribulation doesn’t build character, it reveals it. So you’re simply seeing who I really am. You know you, you’re seeing that prior to this situation I worked with public housing residents and section 8 residents in low income and no income residents. I’m used to serving the community. I did code enforcement where some of the time I wouldn’t even write a ticket. I was simply telling the resident what they needed to do to correct the violation. So, and, and that’s, that goes further than me writing a ticket and, and people looking at me saying, “Oh, well she’s the top employee because she wrote a hundred tickets this month.” I’d rather you say, “Okay, well she only wrote five tickets, but guess what? We have 95% of the people in compliance with what we needed to do.” And so that was really important to me. I’m really passionate about people. I’d really like to help people. I don’t like to burn people. You have some people out there and they prefer, instead of telling the person what they need to do, they’d rather burn them. They’d rather hurt them. They’d rather, you know, they, they prefer to do other things to them. I don’t.

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: It’s difficult but you have to make the decision. You know, I could have fallen off my bike when this have happened with my son and just been on the ground and say, “Listen, I lost my son. I lost my son. I lost my son…” but I decided I didn’t wanna be there. I, I didn’t wanna look in the mirror and see a person that was depressed and sad and I just didn’t wanna be that person. And so you definitely have to make a decision. You definitely have to pull in the strength of yourself because when all the lights were gone, when all the cameras were gone, when all the people was gone, when my family was gone, and the church members gone and everybody gone, then you just have you. And I learned how to pull within the strength for myself and how to pull myself back up. And that’s a very powerful, powerful thing, when you know how to bring yourself back from any situation—(SCOFFS)—you dangerous. You dangerous and that’s what I teach my oldest son, like, you gotta, you can be sad. You can be depressed; you can be all those things but know how to pull yourself back up. And also on my rainy days, I already know that those days won’t last. That if I close my eyes real tight and go to sleep, when I wake up the next day I know a brighter day is coming. And so I know that when I’m crying and I’m sad and I’m thinking about my son on those bad days, that a brighter day is coming. It might the next day, it might be two days later but I know a better day is coming and so I just have to focus on the, I can’t focus just sittin’ in my sorrow and pain. I have to keep moving forward.

MIKE: And when you, and that’s so inspiring and helpful, I was like, “Yeah. I didn’t even wanna change my posture when you’re talking like that.” So it’s like, when you’re feeling a bad day, a down day ’cause we all have ’em, right?

SYBRINA: Right.

MIKE: First feel it like physically, like “Oh, I’m sluggish…” or is it more like a thought starts creeping in…

SYBRINA: It’s a thought. It’s a thought (STAMMERS) and maybe I saw something on TV the night before, maybe I saw something on the news that morning but it’s hard for me to get myself back together. And I’ve tried, I’ve tried to have a bad day and work through it—it doesn’t happen. So I’ve learned to do other things on my bad day. So I cry. If I wanna cry. I just cry. I don’t owe anybody an explanation. I don’t apologize for it—that’s my bad day. And sometimes I, I wake up in the morning and I could feel myself having a bad day and I text my mom and I tell her, “I’m having a bad day.” And she’ll say, “Call me if you need me. Let me know if you need me.” That’s all I need to hear. And sometimes I go to the beach, sometime I go to the spa. Sometimes I just sit home and watch movies and sometimes I just stay in the bed and cry, when I allow myself to have those days, they don’t happen that often, but when they do happen, I just ride right through it because I know, okay, this is my bad day, I could feel it and I can’t get it back together. I can’t. It’s nothing I...I haven’t learned how to get it back together. All I’ve learned how to do is recognize that it’s a bad day. So it starts…

MIKE: Mmm.

SYBRINA: …in my head and, and then my body feels a certain way, but I don’t wanna do anything. I don’t wanna talk to people. I don’t wanna, I don’t want, I don’t wanna take pictures. I don’t wanna say this, I don’t wanna interview, I don’t wanna do—I just want you to just leave me alone, and, and most of the time I’m at home, and, and I’d just stay home and I just, this is my bad day. This is my bad day, you know? And I, I just recognize them. I’m human.

MIKE: We all are. I mean, look, I’m a life coach and I have bad days and people will look at me like, “Hey, you should pull out of it” and I’m like, “No, it’s a bad day.” Like, sometimes I get, depression hits ya, anxiety will hit. Sometimes I, for me, I’ll feel really confused, too.

SYBRINA: Mm hmm.

MIKE: I’ll be like, “I don’t want anything. I don’t have the energy for it.” And sometimes I take it as a sign I’m not supposed to, you know?

SYBRINA: You know, that’s because, we too, we don’t time out for ourselves a lot of times. You probably like me and I’m always doin’ stuff for other people. But when do you take time out, Mr. Life Coach, for yourself? When do you say, “Okay, I need to do something for myself. Today is my day and I’m gonna do whatever I want to. I’m gonna wake up when I want to. I’m gonna eat what I wanna eat. I’m gonna go where I’m gonna go and I’m not gonna work today. This is Mike’s day.”

MIKE: This is chill day. This is Do-Nothing Day. I’m with you. My question for you is—who do you, I have two, one is what’s a ritual that you do that you find gets you in a really good place in your life? ’Cause I know you do so many things in the public so what’s a ritual that has really helped you?

SYBRINA: I have to go to the spa. Whether it’s just to pamper myself or not—I just believe that when I don’t go to the spa I feel so tense and tight that I have to go to the spa and it kind of relaxes me. I do put on my, my shades and a hat and I go to the beach ’cause I live in Miami. I have to do that because I, I love the water. I love to sit by the water. I love to just listen to the water. I love to get in the water. I love to just sit and, and write, draw pictures in the sand—I, I love it, I love it. I love to listen to music. Music changes my, my mind. It makes me, it puts me somewhere where uh, I, I might be at home but when I listen to music, I’m on an island in the Bahamas, I’m in New York, I’m in London, it puts me somewhere else and so I love music, I shop, I like to shop, too. Don’t leave that out. Um, and I pamper myself. I do a lot of self-care. I get my nails done, look it here…

MIKE: Oh wow.

SYBRINA: …I get nails done. I get my toes done. You know, I get massages—I do things to treat myself because I feel like I deserve it, I need it. It, it’s gonna help me get through, you know, certain bad times and stuff like that. And so that’s what I do. And I still, I still hang out with my family and um, my friends. Um, we sit around, they pick on me, you know I pick on them. We, we have dinner, we have wine. People are amazed.

MIKE: This moment for you, the election is August…

SYBRINA: Eighteenth…

MIKE: …18th. August 18th and how can, how can any of the listeners or anyone I know help support you in that?

SYBRINA: Okay, I’m gonna give you two things but they have to stay separate, okay? I want people to go to, first of all I want them to go to TrayvonMartinFoundation.org and see some of the things that we’re doing for the Trayvon Martin Foundation. I mean I, I have been constantly workin’ and I want them to see some of the things that um, we’ve been doing within the foundation and we, we have a um, shop on the website. They can buy hoodies. They can buy Trayvon Martin T-shirts. They can buy the masks, all kind of things that can support the foundation or if they don’t want to purchase anything they can just do a donation at that website. Now I’m gonna put on another hat.

MIKE: Give me the other hat.

SYBRINA: As a candidate um, for Miami-Dade County District 1, um, they can go to SybrinaFulton.com. Um, there is a link there. If they’re in the Miami-Dade, uh, County area they can volunteer for my campaign or if they need a yard sign we’ve been putting yard signs out the last month or if they wanna donate that’s on there as well, so I wanna encourage people, support either way you can. However nothing is too small. We really appreciate it. We um, I just need to get the work done.

MIKE: What’s the maximum people can donate?

SYBRINA: Well, the maximum people can donate for the campaign site is $1,000 but I do have a PC account and if somebody wants to donate more, they should reach out to me.

MIKE: Got it. So, and the money goes to helping you with the campaign and…

SYBRINA: Right. The money goes for me to pay my staff; it goes for, like advertisement, in order for me to get the word out. I have posters, I have uh, you know, just things that come—T-shirts, um, and then I have to pay, we have some volunteers that we have and office space and, you know, just things that entails for campaign and uh, that’s where 100% of the money goes. And so I just tell people if they wanna see me in office and they really wanna see change in Miami-Dade County or they just wanna support me because they really believe in my message, uh, I tell them to go to the SybrinaFulton.com and they’ll find out more about my campaign and they’re able to donate.

MIKE: Do, do you have to be a Miami resident to donate?

SYBRINA: No. Anybody can donate. Um, you have to be Miami resident in order to vote for me, but to donate? No. I, I have people, Canada, California…

MIKE: Right.

SYBRINA: …New York—they from all over the place. They just, you know, support me from day one and they support, you know, the campaign. They just believe in me and I just, I just thank God I’m just grateful that I have people around me and people that’s from afar who’ve never met me but have followed the tragedy and know what happened and, and just know that I’m moving in a direction and just try to make this world a positive place. Make this world a little better than when it came to me.

MIKE: Support the cause! We’ve learned so much with you and uh, I’d love to be supportive of anything you’re involved with. You’re inspiring, uh, clearly smart, loving, passionate and…

SYBRINA: Cute.

MIKE: Cute!

SYBRINA: (LAUGHS) I’m just kidding!

MIKE: Thank you so much!

SYBRINA: Thank you, too!

MIKE: Subscribe, download and we’ll be having more podcasts out every week with incredible people. So I’ll talk to you guys soon.

(END OF PODCAST)