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Honoring George Floyd: McKnight Reflects

McKnight is made up of people who live in, work in, and care about this community. We, too, personally experienced the pain, trauma, and weight of George P. Floyd’s murder, and were impacted by the racial reckoning that ensued. The life of this man, father, brother, son, and friend continue to inspire our commitment to creating the equitable Minnesota that he deserved, and that we envision for everyone.

In anticipation of this anniversary, the Foundation created an internal workgroup to consider how McKnight might honor this moment. As a result of the workgroup’s recommendations, the Foundation announced $1 million in grants to 10 organizations working to build a more welcoming and equitable Minnesota. Learn more about the organizations.

We have also asked our team to reflect on what it means to belong to and care about our community, and on how they want to continue to show up as philanthropic partners, neighbors, and people who are working to advance a more just, creative, and abundant future for all of us. Over the next several weeks, we will update this page with these personal reflections.

George Floyd Made Me Move.
I want his memory to move you too.

By Tonya Allen

I moved to Minnesota for a man. And I left my husband in Detroit (temporarily). This may sound as if I went against my morals and feministic principles—but I did not.

I moved here because George Floyd, the man, symbolized the movement.

The movement for Black lives, re-catalyzed by Floyd’s murder and Minneapolis activists, resulted in millions of multiracial, mostly young people protesting in the streets in more than 2,000 towns in 60 countries for months. They were relentless and they were courageous. They made us notice, they made us uncomfortable, and they made us move. They made me—like so many others across the country—wonder, “How can I do more?” and “How can I make sure this time change is durable?” Seeking the answers to these questions moved me—figuratively and literally—from my comfortable, yet meaningful, life in Detroit. The divine interruption placed me here in a new city, a new job, a new home, and a new mission.

Topic: Diversity Equity & Inclusion

June 2021