Three years after George Floyd’s murder, a celebration of his life at the very place it ended. Tonight, how his family is celebrating his legacy and the progress made since his passing with the annual “Rise and Remember” festival. His aunt, Angela Harrelson is our special guest.



Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.


Rafael: Good evening and welcome to 'MetroFocus.'

It has been three years since George Floyd's murder at the hands of Derek Chauvin.

The widely circulated video of chauvin kneeling on Floyd's and sparked a wave of protests that led to a renewed focus on the legacy of Ray Vinci -- of racism in criminal justice reform.

Now the site of Freud's murder -- Floyd's murder has been renamed George Floyd square.

For the third straight year, 'Rise and Remember' will be held there to celebrate the progress made since his passing.

Joining us now to talk about the third annual 'Rise and Remember' is Angela Harrelson, George Floyd's aunt and the cochair of the George Floyd Memorial.

She joins us as part of our chasing the green initiative on poverty and injustice, and economic opportunity in America.

Let me start with this.

The book you wrote after the death of your nephew is called lift your voice: Help my nephew's murder changed the world.

Three years after his death, how much has George's murder changed your life and the lives of your family?

How is it affecting you personally?

Angela: I wrote that book.

It started as a journal.

[INDISCERNIBLE] -- the support that the world showed gave me the support to cross the finish line.

The whole thing changed me and the world.

It also gave me greater purpose in life.

[INDISCERNIBLE] You cannot help but change.

Sometimes it is still tough.

As a community, the came together.

-- we came together.

I do get flashbacks seeing the video.

And it just knowing how to do with those emotions in a healthy way.

Rafael: Let's turn to the 'Rise and Remember' celebration, which will be taking place on the 20 fifth and 26th of this month.

Can you give us a summary of what it is and how it got started?

Angela: 'Rise and Remember' got started -- we wanted to do something.

What can we do for our community, not just for my family, but other people?

It was a way for us to honor George Floyd.

We could not think of a name.

When then we thought of 'Rise and Remember.'

So we did 'Rise and Remember' and everyone started getting involved to help us.

This year our theme is -- [INDISCERNIBLE] We wanted to add on to last year.

Our goal this year -- we know how we can cause a domino effect.

What can we do now?

How can we get buildings up?

Now we want to see our visions and investment.

Rafael: We will break identity components of the celebration, but most of it will take place at George Floyd square, which is the site where he was murdered.

Let me go back to that.

You talked about how sometimes you see the video ended effects you.

How does it affect you to be there knowing what happened?

Angela: The first time I went there alone.

I remember people coming up on the exam to me, walking with me.

I did not know who they work.

They were community members.

Seven I am Angela Harrelson, -- I said I am Angela Harrelson, the ants.

People started coming up to me.

People come from all over the world.

I am like, 'wow.

They still support us, still believing less -- believe in us.'

When I go there, I am not alone.

It is a calm and sacred moment.

That is why I go there, the community.

Rafael: Let's talk about the components of the umbrella celebration.

First of all, there is a two day conference.

Angela: The conferences new.

It is going to have a diverse list of speakers.

They will have group talks, speakers.

They will talk about racism, equity.


And how people can be involved more.

Right now, we have 25 speakers for the two day conference.

Rafael: You will also have a candlelight vigil.

To understand where that would be like, let me move to the gala.

Galas are usually fundraising events.

Is that what this is?

Angela: The gala is going to be phenomenal.

We have our speaker who is -- of South Africa.

He agreed to be the keynote speaker.

And then we will have a choir.

And that is going to be amazing.

And we also will have uncle like . He is going to sing a song.

And we will have a gala bash outdoors.

Rafael: I am going to be in New York, but we will talk about what to do anyway.

And the money you collect, what are you dedicating it to?

Angela: We have two components.

One is a foundation preservation. we have Artwork that we have collected.

We have people meticulously label this artwork.

They carefully take care of this.

We also hired interns.

They will help us through this process.

And we have a program for people interested in that type of work.

And also -- in Minneapolis.

Rafael: And there is also an event focused on families.

Free of charge.

Angela: The festival will have [INDISCERNIBLE] We will have live music, a kids zone, a wellness center, a music and dance.

It is going to be amazing.

We are going to have speakers.

It is wonderful.

And the community, we look forward to this.

This is something -- because of the work they have done, despite inequality, this is something they -- Rafael: As we discussed, George Floyd's murder was an inflection point in this country.

It changed the country and the world.

I remember watching a video on YouTube of a city in Spain in the middle of the pandemic during strict lactose.

There was a huge demonstration on behalf of George.

In the short time that we have left, what is the most important change that has occurred?

Angela: We acknowledge it.

The validation that systemic racism is real.

Let us is become part of the conversation.

I have had incredible conversations with people who do not look like me.

I feel compelled to have those conversations.

Some are not always in my favor or healthy, whatever, but we are having these conversations.

Rafael: For those of us who live in New York and will not be able to make it, if we want to make a contribution, what do we do?

Angela: Go to

Check us out.

We are doing great things.

We hope to be a role model for all the communities around the world.

Rafael: Thank you.

It has been a pleasure.

Good luck on your celebration.

Angela: Thank you for having me.

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