Mural of George Floyd in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
Mural of George Floyd in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
(via Pixabay)
Civic Life

Reflecting after tragedy: Honor and remember George Floyd at these memorial events in Santa Cruz County

One year after the tragic and brutal death of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, Santa Cruz community organizers have a host of events you can attend to honor the man who sparked the most recent racial reckoning in the country.

Last year, on May 25, George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. His brutal death caused an eruption of protests across the country and locally. To honor and remember Floyd one year later, local organizers are hosting several events around Santa Cruz County to give people a chance to reflect and remember.

Here are some of the events taking place around town on Tuesday and Wednesday that you can attend or participate in:

Community gathering by NAACP of Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz branch of the NAACP and the county’s Black Coalition for Justice & Racial Equity are hosting a community gathering and vigil at the Santa Cruz courthouse steps at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The event will feature speakers, spoken word, music, socially distanced dancing and poetry readings. Masks are required. For more details, visit the NAACP website.

One year later: Has anything really changed?

One year later flyer
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

On Wednesday evening, you can join Lookout at 6 p.m. for a discussion with community members on the most recent racial reckoning in this country and what’s changed since then. Panelists include UC Santa Cruz African History professor Dr. David Anthony III, Tannery World Dance and Culture Center founder Cat Willis, Watsonville native, playwright and former school teacher Spike Wong and local economic equity activist Maria Cardenas. The event is being co-sponsored by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz. Read more about the panelists here and sign up for our free Zoom event here.

Bilingual policing solutions webinar

A line of four police vehicles, two of them with siren lights going
Police are deployed to the business complex in Orange where a mass shooting occurred. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

And later on Wednesday night, you can explore cost-effective ways to handle nonviolent crisis calls that don’t involve the police. Tune in to a free, bilingual webinar spearheaded by Watsonville-based non-profit Regeneración at 7 p.m. Wednesday, to learn more about the Crisis Assistance Helping Out In the Streets Program, which responds to nonviolent mental health and social service calls, and the Mobile Emergency Service for Youth Program which provides crisis intervention services to youth and their families. Register for this event here.