A Year after the Murder of George Floyd, URGE Reflects
May 26, 2021
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by a member of the Minneapolis Police Department. This murder, and the subsequent fearlessness of protestors in Minneapolis who refused to stand down in the face of anti-Black police brutality, sparked uprisings throughout the United States and across the globe in support of Black lives and the ending of police violence. A year later, URGE leader Danielle Hurd-Wilson reflects on the resilience of young people during a year of historic struggle.
Statement from Danielle Hurd-Wilson, Interim Deputy Director of Field and Programs, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity:
“The past year saw some accountability for the murder of George Floyd, but only glimmers of justice. True justice starts with defunding police departments, getting cops out of schools, decriminalizing Blackness, and investing in community-based solutions that create safer, more prosperous futures free from the threat of state violence. It means ensuring full access to social supports and health care for all and making investments allowing our communities to thrive. There have been a few bright spots of progress – Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX, and Columbus, OH are examples – but other areas have doubled down on support of militarized police, and there is still much to be done.
“Despite the incessant political barriers, young people are leading the way. Black and brown youth have been at the forefront of the successful efforts to divest from police. Young people are demanding accountability from their elected officials. And they are surrounding their friends, families, and communities with care and compassion as they continue this fight together.
“And I think that is one of the greatest things I’ve taken away in reflecting on the past year since the murder of George Floyd – the power, resilience, and ingenuity of Black and brown young people. Young people showed up in the streets and put their bodies on the line in the fight for Black lives and dignity despite a military-grade police response. They turned out in record numbers to vote, despite well-funded, coordinated voter suppression efforts desperate to uphold white supremacy. Young people have found ways to survive despite politicians that were willing to sacrifice their health, their educations, and their livelihoods to suppress information about prevention, treatment, and public services during a deadly global pandemic. Young people show up and find a way forward every time, and that’s why it’s an honor to work with them every day.”
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity envisions a liberated world where we can live with justice, love freely, express our gender and sexuality, and define and create families of our choosing. To achieve our vision of liberation, URGE builds power and sustains a young people’s movement for reproductive justice by centering the leadership of young people of color who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and people of low income. As a state-driven national organization, URGE organizes our communities, provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture, working in states where the challenges and opportunities are greatest.