tracy martin *Wednesday found Trayvon Martin‘s father, Tracy Martin, on Capitol Hill where he vowed that he would work “with everything that I have left in me” to make sure the lessons learned from his son’s death help to bridge the nation’s racial divide.

Martin made his promise at a meeting in Washington, D.C., of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, which was scheduled months before George Zimmerman was acquitted July 13 of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Trayvon Martin’s shooting death in Sanford, Fla., last year.

But its timing couldn’t be better, said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., who said it was the caucus’ mission “to take on the challenges facing our men and boys and to ask our fellow Americans and African-Americans to do the same.”

Tracy Martin told the panel that “we won’t let this verdict sum up who Trayvon was.”

“As American citizens, we cannot stand by and let a not guilty verdict dictate what our youth’s legacy becomes.” he said. That’s why, he said, he’s fighting not just for his son but for “so many other young black and brown boys in this country.

“What can we do as parents, what can we do as African-American men to assure our kids that they don’t have to be afraid to walk outside your house, go to the store, get a bag of Skittles, a can of iced tea and not make it home?” Martin asked.

“The next time your parents see you, you’re dressed in white in a funeral. That’s something that no parent should ever go through.”

Martin spoke a day after the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggested that racial relations are more strained in the wake of Zimmerman’s acquittal than they have been in many years.

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