MISSION & VISION
We exist to conserve stories of resistance to racial injustice and to curate spaces for all people to grieve, pay respect, and be a voice for justice.
Our vision is to bring community development in Minneapolis and inspire people to pursue racial justice around the world.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cochair & Family Member
About Ms. Angela
Cochair & Family Member
About Ms. Paris
Treasurer, Secretary, & Community Member
About Ms. Jeanelle
Jeanelle Austin is the creator of Racial Agency Initiative, a racial justice leadership coaching company. She is also the lead caretaker of the memorial, where she guides a team of volunteers to stand in the unique space of preservation and protest. She began tending to the memorial during the first week of the protest as a form of social resistance and self-care. Every day, the memorial looked different, and every day, she and others would tend to both the new and old offerings so that the story could be preserved.
Jeanelle earned a BA in Christian Ministries from Messiah College and an MDiv in Ethics and an MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. She consults and speaks nation-wide on various topics as they intersect with race in America. A native resident of Minneapolis, Jeanelle grew up blocks away from the intersection of 38th & Chicago in Bryant Neighborhood and joyfully serves the community alongside brothers and sisters in the ongoing fight for racial justice.
On May 25, 2020, George Perry Floyd was lynched by the Minneapolis Police Department just steps away from the intersection of 38th Street East and Chicago Avenue South. In response to this atrocity, people came from across the world to pay respect, lay expressions of pain and hope as offerings, and grieve the ongoing violence against black bodies.
Offerings are tended to by over 20 community volunteers who adopted the name of caretakers. Caretakers opperate with two guiding principles: 1) Everything is somebody's offering. Therefore, nothing is thrown away. 2) The people are more sacred than the memorial itself.
Caretaking began when the memorial was simple. There were circles of flowers and a few distinct locations to lay offerings. The memorial has now expanded to encompass offerings in every direction, large and small. Caretaking operations also expanded. It could take a museum several years to build a collection of the magnitude to which we have grown. In five months, the caretakers of the memorial offerings built a greenhouse for the plants and delicate offerings, developed a temporary conservation room, kindly provided by the Pillsbury House & Theater and supported by the Midwest Arts Conservation Center, and continue to tend to the offerings at the intersection of 38th & Chicago laid in memory of George Floyd and other black lives lost in this community and across the nation.
Over 2500 offerings of street art, drawings by children, protest signs, rocks, letters, paintings, flowers, and meaningful gifts transformed this intersection into a sacred site. People all over the world continue to build the memorial, and through caretaking, we continue our preservation of history and storytelling in this unprecedented way.