The George Floyd Memorial Center (GFMC) announces it is declaring May 25th as the annual Day of Enlightenment (5/25 D.O.E.). Why? Because on May 25, 2020, the world watched an act of terror for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. What followed were months of protests in more than 60 countries across the world. In the midst of a global pandemic, millions of people from all backgrounds gathered to raise their collective voices to say enough is enough.
What resulted was an awakening of minds to police brutality towards and against marginalized communities, especially the Black community. Nine minutes and 29 seconds enlightened the world to the plight of Black Americans as well as other marginalized communities across the world. Voices were finally heard, and according to the GFMC, these voices will no longer be silenced or ignored.
“George’s death, after his life was taken so inhumanely by a rogue police officer, will not be in vain,” said Roger Floyd, Chief impact officer for the GFMC, and George Floyd Jr.’s paternal uncle, known affectionately as Uncle Roger. “We will continue to unapologetically move the needle forward for real change, and we want everyone in communities all over the country and world to join us.”
The GFMC’s 5/25 D.O.E. grassroots initiative is designed to engage the world by recognizing a day of enlightenment versus a day of anger and pain. The GFMC wants to change the narrative from hurt to hope. Although the tragedy of how George Floyd Jr.’s life was taken woke the world up, the GFMC wants to change the tragedy and make it triumphant for societies around the country.
In an effort to engage individuals and communities and raise awareness and resources for current and future GFMC programming, the 501(c3) organization will sell the specially designed 5/25 D.O.E. paraphernalia/items to people in the U.S. and around the world, encouraging them to post pictures of themselves on social media using #525DOE and #GeorgeFloydMC. The 5/25 D.O.E. items can be purchased at www.cafepress.com/georgefloydmcstore in an effort to support this and other initiatives created by the Floyd family to honor George’s life and legacy.
“The goal is to get people thinking about what was changed inside of them on 5/25 as they reflect on their day of enlightenment,” said Frederick Huff, Program Director, GFMC. “The proceeds from the sale of these items will support some, but not all of what our vision is to provide town by town support. We’re also seeking significant corporate support to bring the vision and lasting dream to life that helps close the digital and employment divide in marginalized communities.”
The George Floyd Memorial Center has plans to adopt smaller towns and communities within the United States and provide technical training for students who are often overlooked and underserved. Through dedicated programming, they intend to equip the students with IT, cybersecurity training, and certificates to prepare them for IT careers in our ever-growing technology-dependent world. Ultimately the plan is to work with staffing agencies to assist residents in finding productive and rewarding careers that will allow them to provide for their families and contribute to the local community and economy.
“It’s not just about blue-collar jobs, it’s about new collar jobs, and we know where there is an economic base, there is more respect and power,” Huff continued. “By developing individuals to be their own economic engines, we begin to shrink the divides that are too numerous to name, but for starters, we want to continue the momentum towards social justice by working to end economic inequalities, social isolation, educational deprivation, and political disenfranchisement.”
“As we focus on the Day of Enlightenment 5/25, let us remember that the entire world bared witness to the murder of Mr. George Floyd,” said Sheriff Hubert A. Peterkin of Hoke County, NC. “Even though we will never see George again, his name lives on through the George Floyd Memorial Center with an emphasis on enterprising technology programs to ensure economic growth from town to town, rebuilding relationships between the community and law enforcement officers. Together, we can drive change throughout the country by turning a senseless act into an impactful one that will affect generations of Americans.”
The Center’s and the Floyd family’s hope is that change begins with this bold initiative – 5/25 D.O.E. – an annual celebration. As proclaimed by Thomas McLaurin, Executive Director of the George Floyd Memorial Center, “As with the death of Crispus Attucks in 1770, let us remember this day, 5/25 Day of Enlightenment, as the day the world stood up and proclaimed liberty, equality, and justice for all.”