Youth activists from Florida, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York join the Dream Defenders and chant “I believe that we will win!”
Youth activists from Florida, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York join the Dream Defenders and chant “I believe that we will win!”

After the George Zimmerman verdict student activists known as the Dream Defenders rushed to the state of Florida to strategize and plan how they would bring about justice to Trayvon Martin and to everyone else who could potentially be Trayvon.

There’s been a lot of buzz about these student activists and their tactics. The Dream Defenders have occupied the Florida State Capitol since July 16, 2013, demanding that the Governor of Florida call a special session to address what they call, “Trayvon’s Law” which would work to repeal the Stand Your Ground Law, confront racial profiling and end the school-to-prison pipeline.

(Information about the law can be found here.)

The Dream Defenders are a group of youth activists who believe they will bring social change by training and organizing youth and students in nonviolent civil disobedience, civic engagement and direct action while creating a sustainable network of youth and student leaders to take action and create real change in their communities.

Fighting for the criminalization of this current generation by directly confronting the sources, sponsors and supporters of it, the Dream Defenders are located in Florida and have different chapters, including at Florida A&M University.

Some people feel their protests in Florida are not going to make a difference and Stand Your Ground will remain as is. I would personally like to say, after spending time in the Florida State Capitol with the Dream Defenders, that I am believe there will be change in laws in the state of Florida.

It is important to understand that they are not just protesting in the Capitol and sleeping there without a purpose. Sure, it’s a demonstration to get Governor Rick Scott to call a session for the FL legislature to vote on this law. But so much more happens.

Every day from the time they wake up until they go to sleep, there are sessions and workshops going on to inform, build, train and inspire the people to make a change because “the world is ours.”

The Dream Defenders, along with the Black Youth Project 100, an organized group of 100 black youth activists, the NAACP, Youth United for Change along with many other organizations are pushing forward to create justice for all.

2013 is the year for a new movement, and we encourage everyone to participate or support in some way. Half the battle is just showing up, and the Dream Defenders have demonstrated this.

We have to be the power if we want to make a change.

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Nicole Tinson is from Los Angeles, California and is a recent graduate Dillard University’s Class of 2014. Nicole earned her BA in Political Science, and is an incoming graduate student at Yale’s Divinity School. Nicole is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated as well as the NAACP. She currently serves as a White House Initiative on HBCUs All Star. Nicole has had the opportunity to intern with the Special Needs Network, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the rights for children with disabilities, as well as interning with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in their Emerging Leaders Program. She is an agent for social change and focuses on issues that include gun violence prevention, education, mass incarceration, women’s rights, civil rights, HBCU ‘”relevancy” and children’s rights. Nicole aspires to integrate faith and politics and intends to one day run for office and become the first Black Speaker of the House. She plans to leave the world better than when she found it. Nicole loves long walks on the beach, shopping, serving her community, tweeting and hanging out with Dennis and her friends.


  1. Judge’s instructions to the jury included the phrase “right to stand his
    ground,” is part of a standard jury instruction “This case is not about standing

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