Exactly one year ago, George Floyd walked into a store in South Minneapolis. Moments later, he was killed on a sidewalk by police officer, Derek Chauvin, as the latter knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
A viral video which captured Floyd repeating the words, “I can’t breathe,” sparked a movement across the globe and digital spheres – a quest for justice that continues to be pervasive, through protests and social media activism. The uprising also found its way into corporations, classrooms and courtrooms. In April 2021, Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
And yet, the worldwide reckoning sparked a debate as to why instances of racial inequality are repeated. Chauvin’s conviction, while emblematic of the justice being pursued, served as a reminder that police brutality and racial injustice are ever persistent. In the 12 months following Floyd’s death, America saw at least 426 people of colour lose their lives to police violence.
Without question, the fight for racial justice rushed into Britain, too. Footballers are periodically “taking the knee” on the field, protesters rally across counties, and statues that have honoured racist figures in our past are being pulled down. Still, progress in the United Kingdom has been similarly fraught. Just days ago, Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson was shot by a group of men in South London. It should really come as no surprise that close to half of Black Britons say they have felt no progress with regards to race in the United Kingdom since the death of Floyd. Resistance from ethnic minorities has been met with criticism and dismissal, despite the Black Lives Matter movement garnering monetary and on-ground support.
The journey to end racial inequality and injustice continues. On the harrowing anniversary of Floyd’s death, contributing to organisations that are fuelling progress can honour his memory, along with the many Black Americans and Britons who unjustly lost their lives.
GBC is an independent, volunteer-led grassroots project, which provides mutual aid and solidarity to support social struggles within the UK. Throughout protests, they act as a source of strength, from providing legal aid to organising medical support.
These organisations supply donations to recent victims of violence. Each of the following is on Go Fund Me: Justice for Breonna Taylor, Elijah McCain Memorial Fund, and the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.
This national charity provides independent support to those affected by hate crimes, providing confidential and accessible aid for victims, witnesses, and third parties.
The US-based, Black-led organisation consists of abolitionist organisers, lawyers and activists who aim to end mass incarceration.
This educational social enterprise teaches Black history across schools in the UK, also running programmes in corporations and online.
This campaign pursues the end of police violence in America, by ensuring accountability, limiting police interventions and elevating community interactions.
Black Visions, based in Minneapolis, builds strategic and sustainable movements for growth and change. The campaign is led by Black Queer and Trans people, fundraising and creating community-based projects. They also work with Reclaim the Block, which has various resources that educate the public on Black history, rights, and mental health.