Remembering George Floyd
By Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director
One year ago, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer.
He deserved to live on as more than a memory to his family and his community: he deserved life. Instead, his name was added to the long list written on our hearts—alongside Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Adam Toledo, Sandra Bland and so many others whose lives ended at the hands of police.
His murder was shocking, but it was also utterly routine. Over the last year, police have targeted, incarcerated and immiserated countless Black, Brown and poor people, people whose names and stories we will never learn.
The oppression of Black and Brown people in this country will not end so long as the institutions built to maintain America’s racial caste system stands.
George Floyd’s murder spurred the largest uprising for racial justice in modern American history. But when people took to the streets to demand justice, they were not just crying out for George Floyd—they raised their voices for the generations of Black, Brown and Indigenous people whose lives and communities have been destroyed by state violence.
This sparked political education, direct action, and mutual aid, and millions of people re-articulated a collective vision, long expressed but never realized: a society where all people of color are free and safe. And together, we began to win meaningful advances toward this goal—removing police from our schools and streets and freeing people from dangerous carceral conditions.
There is much work left to be done; every day, people of color in this country are still being robbed of their lives and livelihoods by our racist criminal legal system. But this last year has proven that, by building and exercising our collective power, we can win a just future—not only for ourselves and our communities, but on behalf of George Floyd and everyone who has been robbed of this precious opportunity.
We are proud to stand alongside you in this struggle.
Judith Browne Dianis is the Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office and leads our work in combating structural racism in education, voting, policing, criminal justice and immigration.