Today marks the second anniversary of the passing of George Floyd and we take a moment to reflect on his untimely murder in a police attack.
In case there is anyone who does not know, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was apprehended for an alleged offence in Minneapolis, USA. Following his apprehension, four police officers took a series of actions that not only violated his rights but lead to his neck being pinned against the ground, whilst he pleaded for his life, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds until he eventually passed away.
It took little under nine minutes for a police officer, Derick Chauvin to take his life. Nine minutes that should have been used to make the rational and moral decision to drive Mr Floyd to the police station for further questioning, yet instead they were spent murdering and allowing his murder, despite bystanders crying and screaming for them to stop.
There is no denying that the treatment Mr Floyd received was unjust; regardless of whatever crime he may have been accused of committing there is no excuse to murder anyone, let alone due to racial stereotypes associated with the colour of their skin.
While this day signposts an untimely and melancholic event, it also reinforces the mission of charities such as The Amos Bursary. Our mission seeks to help change the negative narrative associated with being young and Black. To help others see that we are so much more than a code like ‘IC3’ or a statistic in the number of people not going into higher education. That we can make our dreams a reality and not feel like we have to be held down by the clichés associated with being black.
The AMOS Bursary community that has been formed over the past 13 years facilitates and champions the success of ambitious Black British men and women from underprivileged backgrounds. It offers us empowerment and the ability to develop confidence in ourselves and our skill sets through workshops, networking events and so much more. Being part of The Bursary and its excellence program has made us increasingly confident in our abilities by the minute.
It has often been said that Mahatma Gandhi famously said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. In fact what he said was “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” As AMOS Bursary scholars we can say with confidence, that the skills and mindset that are being developed in us are helping us to become pioneers of change within our community. We’re not waiting to see what others do. We’re moving and we’re shaping futures that transform stereotypes about young black people and that allow students and professionals of African and Caribbean heritage to have the same opportunities as their white counterparts.
Article by Oluwabukunmi Oloyede and Daniel Bateren
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