FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The death of George Floyd has left people of all backgrounds asking, “how can do we do better?”
The family of Atatiana Jefferson is now giving their thoughts.READ MORE: State Sen. Bryan Hughes Defends Texas Abortion Law He Authored As Legal Challenges Mount
In October of 2019, Jefferson was shot and killed in her own home by a now former Fort Worth police officer who is now charged with murder. READ MORE: Young Woman Who Helped North Texas Police Bring Down Drug Ring Believes She Saved Lives
“It’s about making sure nothing is in vain, none of the lives, none of the struggles, none of the problems that have arisen from many of these situations that we’ve seen now across the country,” Jefferson’s stepmother Noella Jefferson said.
“Make this tragedy into a triumph,” Jefferson’s uncle Lapaca Jefferson said.
Jefferson’s family has been committed to that. Jefferson’s late father, Marquis Jefferson, launched the Atatiana ”Tay” Jefferson Foundation with the goal of bringing hope to people and communities in need. Now, during this time, the foundation is getting behind another effort.
“Lighting Up 2020” pairs new high school graduates with community members who can provide them with economic and skill training opportunities. It focuses on reducing the number of underserved areas in America by providing opportunities through accountability.MORE NEWS: 'Your Rule-Making Proposal Sucks': Texas Lawmakers Scold Railroad Commission Head Over Potential Critical Infrastructure Loophole
The goal is to put the graduates on a path to become be agents of change in their communities.
“When you look at the unrest that you see across the country, it’s not just about the death of George Floyd,” Lighting Up 2020 Founder Bruce Carter said. “There are people who feel like they don’t have value in America. We’ve never talked about how do we economically strengthen those who then can go back in those communities and pass that torch and that’s what this is about.”
“When situations like this arise, there are other means to protest,” Noella said. “Use your skills, use your knowledge, use your power, use your wealth to help to contribute.”