Reflecting on George Floyd's Impact in NC

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In their call to defund the police, Dr. Ianna Hawkins Owen casts divestment from the carceral police state and investment in communities as an act of radical imagination that dreams of a freer, more compassionate world for all.  Today, in solemn commemoration of George Floyd’s murder a year ago, Black activists and advocates in North Carolina continue their work to dream of and build worlds wherein the systemic racism that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Andrew Brown Jr., and countless others no longer exist. 

Nearly a thousand new names of people killed by police have been added to this shamefully long list since Floyd’s execution. This list evinces the brutality, cruelty, and inequity of the carceral state and its disproportionate impact on Black people, who are 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people. 

Organizations like the North Carolina Bail Fund of Durham, Emancipate NC, Black Workers For Justice, and Black Voters Matter protect, support, and affirm Black lives against systems that are designed to curtail the quality of Black experience and subject Black people to premature death. Collaborative leadership has made the ACLU of NC a stronger advocate for our communities, and we are proud to take direction from these organizations as we continue to hone and refine our racial justice work. 

These organizations are dreaming of and working toward a new world that has never existed - one that values Black people. Their work strives for a world where Black people can live each day like they are going to a wedding, or as Owen writes, “looking forward at the uncertain future with wonder and with the reassurance that [we] are loved” rather than living each day as though we are lucky to have escaped our funerals. 


Black Voters Matter
NC Community Bail Fund of Durham
Emancipate NC
Black Workers for Justice