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Four years after George Floyd's murder, Twin Cities teens stress activation over trauma

Teen summit addresses healing, ongoing activism against racial injustice
Teen summit addresses healing, ongoing activism against racial injustice 01:51

MINNEAPOLIS — Four years ago this weekend, George Floyd was murdered by then-officer Derek Chauvin. The images are for many seared into memory, never to be dislodged. However, at a Twin Cities teen summit this week, young people worked to meet the tough challenge of moving forward.

Participants in the Win Back event said that this moment in time presents them an opportunity to not complain but, rather, to activate.

"The youth are not only the future, they are the now, and we recognize that nothing moves without them. And usually they are the first ones to move," said Leslie Redmond, who was president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP during the 2020 uprising. "If I want to know what to do, usually I just look at the youth. They are the ones protesting, they are the ones organizing, they are the ones getting activated."

Redmond said she felt young people needed a space to talk about the past but also focus on the future.

"People are more committed than ever because we can't go back, we can't unsee what we've seen. So it's a lot of motivation to keep going forward, but we have to organize together," Redmond said.

The focus of this summit was healing and ongoing activism against racial injustice.

"You don't have to be Beyoncé or some superstar to change the world, or have a voice. It can be anybody, in any shape or form," said I'Yani Dozier, a senior at the High School for the Recording Arts. "My hope is to raise the vibration of humanity with my positivity and my knowledge."

Dozier believes her generation is focused on true change. Students traveled from North and South Dakota to be a part of these talks.

"I feel like it's good to have a connection to things that are happening in our world and to feel connected to each other as a whole," said senior Florence Sherman, of Fargo's Davies High School.

The future leaders say they are determined to take what they learned at the summit back to their network of friends, while staying hopeful about the future.

"For sure hope is at the center of it, because a hopeless population is a dangerous population and is a defeated population," Redmond said. "But a hopeful population is an activated population where I believe the future is going to be bright."

After the summit, the teens marched to George Floyd Square to join others in the community for an inaugural "Day of Remembrance."

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