Mayor calls for ‘anti-racist’ government on George Floyd anniversary

Minneapolis will provide a "healing space" exclusively for "BIPOC employees."

A mural of George Floyd at the intersection where he died, now known as "George Floyd Square." (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for an “anti-racist” city government in an employee-wide email Wednesday to mark the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death.

“In the wake of the racial reckoning that began in Minneapolis in May 2020, our city has demanded change. As a local government serving this city, it’s on us — including myself as mayor — to put specificity to that change and work collaboratively to enact it. We have moved with urgency and intentionality, but a long road remains ahead of us to be anti-racist in our local government and city,” Frey said in an email obtained by Alpha News.

Floyd died May 25, 2020 while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Former officer Derek Chauvin was later found guilty of murder in connection to Floyd’s death.

Frey invited anyone seeking “assistance” to take advantage of city “resources” such as a “Day of Racial Reckoning” scheduled for Thursday and “Transformative Healing Spaces” set to take place Friday. One of these “healing spaces” is reserved exclusively for “BIPOC employees.”

“We know the weight of this day is felt more acutely by our Black colleagues and community, informed by the experiences they — and generations before them — have had,” Frey continued. “Just last week, the racially motivated deadly hate crime in Buffalo, New York was yet another example of how Black communities are increasingly targeted with violence and vitriol.”

At the state level, Gov. Tim Walz proclaimed Wednesday “George Floyd remembrance day” and said “longstanding systemic racism has threatened the health, safety, and wellbeing of our state’s Black communities.”

“We must continue to do everything in our power to come together to deconstruct and undo generations of systemic racism in our state so that every Minnesotan has the opportunity to thrive,” Walz said in his proclamation.

In an email to state employees, the “chief inclusion officer” for Minnesota Management and Budget called Wednesday a day “for remembrance of those who have lost their lives as a result of systemic racism over the last two years.”

“Today is also a time to acknowledge that racism is built into our societal systems and institutions,” he said. “We must look for opportunities to move from non-racist to anti-racist in our actions.”