This Wednesday, May 25, marks the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. There are several events planned in the Twin Cities this week with most occurring in Minneapolis. There is one event currently planned for St. Paul which will be on the afternoon of the 25th, at the Governor's residence on Summit Avenue.
Reflecting on these last two years, highlighted by Floyd’s murder and also so many others before and since, requires that we consider lessons learned within the context of their lives, the conditions around them, and whether or not there was fairness in the systems in their lives as there was for people who have more privileged lives. If anything, my learning has deepened my grief. The Center for Public Integrity last week published a piece on George Floyd’s life, shaped by racism, that “tells an American story.” A worthy read.
The question: what has changed? Minnesota, a state known for its progressive politics and economic opportunity, has become the ugly epicenter of an American reckoning on race and justice. An article by The Washington Post tells us that two years after Floyd’s death, “Black Minnesotans say little has changed.” I can’t deny that reality; that said, I am seeing commitment to change: funding, policy, and – most important to my mind – heart changes. Most recently, 25+ corporate, civic, and philanthropic leaders launched the GroundBreak Coalition to deploy $2 billion of capital around MSP towards BIPOC entrepreneurship and other key areas. Time will tell; “hopeful skepticism” still abounds.
Lest we forget: our continued response must be grounded in authentic, proactive change.
See you in the trenches.
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