Zenobia Dobson to go back to ESPYs; says much has changed in a year

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Zenobia Dobson is proud of her family and her sons, and now she’s part of a new family – the ESPYs family.

Zenobia Dobson and her sons will be attending the 2017 ESPYs in Los Angeles, as guests, just a year after they accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on national television on behalf of Zaevion Dobson, who was shot and killed in December 2015 while protecting his friends.

“It’s bittersweet, just to know why I’m going. I’m going because of Zaevion, just to know I’m the mother of a hero. It makes me even more proud to go in his honor.” said Zenobia Dobson.

Zenobia Dobson (Courtesy: WATE)

In her acceptance speech, she stood on stage next to her sons, Markastin and Zack, and spoke about Zaevion’s legacy and her family’s connection to gun violence. She shared that only months after Zaevion’s death, his cousin Jajuan Latham, 12, was killed during a gang shooting at a gathering in the Mechanicsville community, just hours after a celebrity basketball game in Dobson’s honor.

“I’m here to fight back,” she said in 2016.

This year, Zenobia Dobson won’t be speaking, but she’ll be attending as a guest. She says a lot has changed since her speech nearly a year ago.

“I started the Zaevion Dobson Memorial Foundation in honor of Zaevion, in honor of my family, in honor of my community. Just so that children could be a part of doing something.” said Zenobia.

“A lot has changed. A lot of kids look up to us more in the community. They look up to him. He’s just becoming a role model, for all the kids and the youth get in the right path in the direction that he was going for.”

The ESPYs air on Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. on News 2.