A Message of Hope From • CEO Michele Ghee • •
May 25th marks one year since George Floyd’s senseless killing. What has changed and what comes next?
It has been one year since George Floyd’s egregious death. I ask the question, “Has anything changed in the way that Black people are treated?” The answer to that question is complicated. What I know for sure is that we have to keep the momentum as we continue to fight for true equality that seeps into every corner of American society.
I was recently on a Zoom call speaking with a group of brilliant high school students about their future—telling them that they have a bright future ahead and to never let the world put them in a box or dim their light. That message should resonate for every Black person.
While we are still having the same racial equality conversations, this time feels different. It feels promising. Why? We now stand on the powerful shoulders of George Floyd, and that of his senseless and inhumane murder. As we reflect on this monumental anniversary, I am reflecting on my life as a Black woman, an entrepreneur, and an executive. It has been a painful path. A sometimes humiliating path. A disappointing path. An angry path. A lonely path.
I decided that George Floyd’s death would bring about a foundational and historical change in my life and the lives of everyone that I get to influence. Black people deserve more than a transactional relationship with the country that we built. We have earned the right to a long term commitment to opportunity so that we too can take care of our families and communities. So how do we keep the momentum going? How do we honor George Floyd?
We continue to gather and protest. We spend our money with Black-owned businesses first. We understand the power of the family unit. We value each other’s lives. We continue to create, innovate, and own so that we can build wealth instead of making others rich. We respect one another. We carry our culture proudly in every single space that we occupy. When we are not invited to the party, we create our own. When we decide that we are done with the scraps that have been given to us, nothing—I mean nothing—will stop the bold, beautiful and brilliant Black people whom I call family.
It is our time, and I am ready to walk boldly with, and for my people.