Human Rights Commission hosts George Floyd Memorial Walk

Event commences city’s Summer of Action

A+Park+resident+holds+up+a+tribute+art+piece+for+George+Floyd+June+6.+The+city+held+a+memorial+in+commemoration+of+Floyd%27s+life.

Lilia Gonzalez

A Park resident holds up a tribute art piece for George Floyd June 6. The city held a memorial in commemoration of Floyd’s life.

Jacob Khabie

Struck by the significance of community engagement after attending a memorial for George Floyd, senior Ella Miller said the fight for social justice is not over.

“There was success in the Derek Chauvin trial, but it was a small piece to Black Lives Matter and social justice, so I thought it was a really important thing to be a part of and support,” Miller said.

Miller was one of many who attended the George Floyd Memorial hosted by the St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission at Wolfe Park June 6. The memorial came a year after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin May 25, 2020. 

Park residents were called to action in their community during the memorial which also served as the kickoff to the city’s Summer of Action, according to junior and Human Rights Commission youth member Andre Barajas.

We want to grow, we want to reflect and we want to create a better community for tomorrow.”

— Andre Barajas

“In the past year, we’ve seen a lot of words go out but we haven’t seen a lot of actual action come forth, so this is like a kickoff event towards that,” Barajas said.

For junior Li Livdahl, who serves with Barajas as a Human Rights Commission youth member, the Summer of Action will give Park residents the opportunity to participate in city politics and social issues.

“It’s just a really great way to stay involved in politics in our city,” Livdahl said. “Especially as a young person, I think that’s really important.”

As she enters life after high school, Miller said the Summer of Action comes at a perfect time, as it will supply her with the education and action items needed to be a productive and active ally.

“I’m a graduating senior, and I have so much ahead of me,” Miller said. “So, for me personally, it’s the perfect time to take more action, and be a better advocate and learn more.”

After being separated from her community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Livdahl said the event not only allows Park residents to reunite but also to take action.

“Seeing everyone in the crowd and everyone with their friends or their family and coming to this event was really important to see, especially after the year we’ve had,” Livdahl said.

According to Barajas, the event and the Summer of Action that will follow will help bring the change that Park needs in order to best adjust for the community.

“We don’t want to stay with the community that we have right now,” Barajas said. “We want to grow, we want to reflect and we want to create a better community for tomorrow.”