National civil rights leaders and family members of Black people killed by police officers around the country will headline a three-day series of events starting Sunday in Minneapolis to mark the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.
The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, which was founded by Floyd’s younger sister Bridgett Floyd last August, is hosting what it’s calling the Inaugural Remembrance of George Floyd.
It kicks off with a rally in downtown Minneapolis at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hennepin County Government Center, featuring Bridgett Floyd and attorney Ben Crump. The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the keynote speech.
Following the rally, the families of Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Daunte Wright and others killed by police will lead a march through downtown Minneapolis, which will visit several locations important to George Floyd.
“We really thought that my brother's death would be the last police brutality case, but as we all can see, they are at it again and again and again,” said Bridgett Floyd.
She compared Black people to deer that police hunt in the woods. “We are human beings,” she said. We bleed the same way they bleed. There is no reason this should still be happening, and nothing is being done about it.”
The theme of the three days is “One year, what’s changed?” While some corporations have stepped up to support African American organizations in the year since Floyd was killed, many have not, said George Floyd Memorial Foundation executive director Jacari Harris.
The George Floyd Policing Act, a bill introduced in Congress to address a range of issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability, has not passed yet, Harris added.
“Many things have not changed,” said Harris. “That is why Bridgett Floyd started the foundation. We will be the change that we wish to see. It starts with ourselves,” he said.
To that end, organizers are calling Monday a “virtual day of action.” They’re asking people to speak out on social media and contact local officials to help create unity and progress, to take action in their homes or at their workplace.
Two in-person panel discussions are also scheduled for Monday.
Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson will moderate a panel on racial equality and systemic racism called “The State of Black and Brown America,” featuring Katie and Arbuey Wright, parents of Daunte Wright, and others who’ve lost family members to police violence. 12-1 p.m. at the Westin, 88 S. 6th St. in Minneapolis.
George Floyd Memorial Foundation board member Adriannette Williams will moderate a panel called “From Protest to Policy,” from 3-4 p.m. at The Foshay, 821 S. Marquette Ave. in Minneapolis.
On the actual anniversary of the killing, Tuesday, a celebration of George Floyd’s life will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Commons in Minneapolis. It will feature national and local musical acts, games and food.
“We're gathering and just speaking about the unity in the community. We're really embracing art, culture and supporting local owned businesses, especially those food trucks who were negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic,” said Harris.
The separate George Floyd Global Memorial will host a remembrance at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and ending with an 8 p.m. candlelight vigil.
Marches are also scheduled in Houston on Saturday and New York on Sunday.
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