NEWS & UPDATES
Press Release: George Floyd Global Memorial to Present Global Day of Prayer for Justice for George Floyd and Black Liberation
Press Release: George Floyd Global Memorial Million Donor Campaign and New Fellowship
November 8, 2020
Contact: Jeanelle Austin
George Floyd Global Memorial Million Donor Campaign and New Fellowship
Preserving our history and telling our stories in unprecedented ways.
Minneapolis, MN. George Floyd Global Memorial is launching a Million Donor Campaign and partnering with the Midwest Arts Conservation Center to offer a new Fellowship in Racial Justice Collections Care. Support the memorial by being one of one million people to donate to the George Floyd Global Memorial. As a community, we are building our own institution from the ground up to tell our own stories. In doing so, we push against the constructs of racism that have historically denied BIPOC communities control of their own narratives. Your contribution will allow the community to meet the pressing needs of acquiring equipment, supplies, and needed personnel to properly care for the offerings through winter and beyond. To donate or learn more about the fellowship, go to www.georgefloydgloabalmemorial.org.
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 continue to come from across the world to pay respect, lay expressions of pain and hope as offerings, and grieve the ongoing violence against black bodies. Offering contributions to the memorial continue to be welcomed and tended to by volunteer caretakers.
Today, as you enter the barricaded intersection from the north gate and walk in the direction of the large fist flying the pan-African flag, your body enters the Mourning Passage, which is a street mural that lists 168 names of people unjustly murdered by police. As you move through the space mindfully, you will also notice a greenhouse and a community garden. Turn and pause. Take in the 12’ x 12’ black and white mural of George Floyd affixed to a bus shelter that was recently set on fire, destroying most of the offerings in it. When you arrive at the area marked by a ring of offerings, a distinct canopy, and a row of flowers underneath, you’ve come to the place where George Floyd took his last breath. 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 built the memorial, and we welcome everyone to support our preservation of history and storytelling in this unprecedented way.
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 have outgrown their temporary conservation room, kindly provided by the Pillsbury House & Theater and supported by the Midwest Arts Conservation Center. Your generosity will ensure that the stories of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue are preserved and told for posterity. In the words of Ms. Angela Harrelson and Ms. Paris Stevens, family of George Floyd and Cochairs of the Board for the George Floyd Global Memorial: “We must not let his death be his last word. Keep walking the walk.”
Press Release: George Floyd Global Memorial Launches in Minneapolis
October 15, 2020
Family and community members honor George Floyd with a new nonprofit organization
Minneapolis, MN. George Floyd would have turned 47 years old on October 14, and in his honor, the formation of the George Floyd Global Memorial (the Memorial) was announced by Angela Harrelson, Paris Stevens, and Jeanelle Austin in front of the black and white portrait of George Floyd near the place where George Floyd breathed his last breath.
Reflecting on the event, Ms. Harrelson and Ms. Stevens offer these words to the community: “We would like to thank the community for the love and support you've shown, Perry (George Floyd). It is clear that you are not only a community but family. The outpour of offerings that people leave at the memorial represent their condolences in the ongoing pursuit for justice. The offerings are genuine expressions of compassion, loyalty, and their commitment, which is priceless.”
The Memorial board will be co-chaired by Ms. Harrelson and Ms. Stevens. Ms. Harrelson, an aunt of George Floyd, is one of his mother’s sisters. She resides in Eagan, MN and started engaging in the work to preserve the offerings around late July. She is passionate about building an organization that will govern the care for the offerings and invest in the local community. She always tells people, “Don’t let his death be his last word.” The Memorial will support what already exists and continues to be cared for by the local community.
Ms. Stevens joined the work of forming the Memorial in August. From Charlotte, NC, she is a first cousin of George Floyd. Her mother is also a sister to George Floyd’s mother. While telling her own story of relation to Mr. Floyd, Ms. Stevens became emotional. In reference to seeking justice, she inspired the crowd by saying, “Keep walking the walk.”
Ms. Austin started caretaking by picking up trash, straightening flowers, and repositioning offerings so that visitors to her neighborhood could experience the stories each offering told during the Minneapolis Uprising. In addition to supporting the growth of the newly formed nonprofit, she will continue to guide the caretakers’ work on the street to preserve everyone’s offering and curate space for the community to tell its own stories.
There are over 15 wonderful caretakers from the immediate community who volunteer their time to tend to the multiple memorials surrounding the intersection and ensure that astonishing works that the people have offered are not discarded. Caretaking work is supported through generous donations, including use of space at the Pillsbury House and Theater and guidance from the Midwest Arts Conservation Center to conserve the offerings.
The George Floyd Global Memorial exists 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. The vision is to bring community development in Minneapolis and inspire people to pursue racial justice around the world.