Philly to commemorate legacy of George Floyd

Jack Tomczuk

Tuesday, May 25, marks one year since George Floyd was murdered by former police officer Derek Chauvin. The City of Philadelphia, along with community partners, will honor Floyd’s legacy with a series of memorial activities to pay tribute to Floyd and all victims of police violence.

“George Floyd should be alive with his family today and it’s incumbent on all of us to keep his memory alive,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. “His death represented the countless Black Americans tragically killed by police, and it catalyzed a long overdue reckoning about systemic racism in this country. This week, I urge all Philadelphians to reflect on the tremendous legacy he leaves behind and on how we can continue to work together to enact police reform and dismantle institutional racism.”

Jack Tomczuk

On Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., Rev. Naomi Washington Leapheart, Director of Faith Based and Interfaith Affairs, will host a virtual multi-faith interfaith prayer vigil with other faith leaders via Zoom, which will stream on the Office of Public Engagement’s Facebook page.

In addition, Philadelphia is offering a toolkit highlighting safe ways that individuals and organizations are helping people talk about racism, racial identity, equity, justice, and the way these forces shape society.

Last month, the city created safe spaces for people to talk, vent, and process their emotions in communion with other residents by hosting virtual Community Healing Circles on Zoom. These Community Healing Circles are intended to help residents share their feelings and find community and support from neighbors. The next session is slated for Thursday, May 27, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Join a Community Healing session here.

Mental health resources are also available for those in need. The Philadelphia Crisis Line at 215-685-6440 operates 24/7 and has behavioral health specialists ready to respond to those in need of immediate help. Additional resources are available and include:

  • Black Men Heal provides mental health and community resources for Men of Color.
  • MindPHL provides free mental health resources and programs from the City of Philadelphia in collaboration with Independence Blue Cross.
  • Healthy Minds Philly has a guide to Addressing Trauma and Violence, which provides information about community support in the face of trauma.
  • Boost Your Mood is a resource guide from Healthy Minds Philly that has wellness and mental health tips for everyone.

Throughout Philadelphia, local buildings will illuminate the city gold in memory of all victims of police violence. Locations include Boathouse Row, One Liberty Place, Two Liberty Place, PECO Crown Lights, Philadelphia International Airport, Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and Wells Fargo Center, among others.

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