George Floyd: one year on
Today marks one year since George Floyd’s death, so we would like to take a moment to remember George Floyd’s life. The eldest of five siblings and having five children of his own, George was a father, a brother, a son. He enjoyed playing basketball throughout his life, and achieved a football scholarship that took him to college. In his working life, he spent time as an automotive customiser, a truck driver, a security guard, a rapper. He become increasingly dedicated to the Church, and was involved in various Church and volunteer work including a Christian program with a history of taking men to Minnesota from the Third Ward and providing them with drug rehabilitation and job placement services.
These are just some of the things we know about George’s life, and can in no way encompass all of his joys, his struggles, his laughs, his tears, his love. But they are all things we should remember when we talk and think and write about him, because his life was more than just those last moments for which he is often remembered. His murder was a theft of this life by the cancer that is anti-Black racism, that is white supremacy, and although his murderer has been convicted, there remains a great deal of work to be done in the fight for the justice and liberation of Black people.
This work must begin in ourselves and in our own spaces; we are committed to this fight within the SU and UEA. Earlier this year we released a statement outlining where we are with our own anti-racism work. This year we developed and delivered anti-racism training to several sports clubs, student groups, academic societies, and one hundred Course Reps, and we are currently developing a plan to reach more students next year. We are expanding our Students of Colour Ambassador scheme into more schools across UEA, paying students of colour to build strong communities, challenge institutional racism, and help close the degree awarding gap. We ran a Black is Power campaign to celebrate our Black students and are always looking for more nominations.
All this work continues, meanwhile on this day that will bring pain, grief, and anger to many, we stand with you. We stand with you in the fight for the justice and liberation of Black people, and we stand with you in remembering George Floyd. If you need support at this time, or to report any instances of racism, please make use of our advice service and Report and Support.