Experience the George Floyd Memorial
Join the Movement to End Racial Injustice
The video of the death of George Floyd, Jr., during an arrest by Minneapolis police officers, set into motion protests, riots, and unrest in Minneapolis, MN and in other cities worldwide. This video captured a horrific tragedy that unfolded on the night of Monday, May 25, 2020. However, the events are only a glimpse into a world of racial disparities and socioeconomic strain that exist in African American neighborhoods every day.
Users with a VR headset can experience the memorial in immersive 3D. Look for the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ZEKQdNga0Bc
Read: Notes From Our Producer
There are four ways to enter the memorial site. At the entrance are gatekeepers with hand sanitizers keeping everyone safe and reminding us of the continuing COVID crisis.
In the next scene, you see the location of the tragic death outside the Cup Foods store. The area is heavily decorated with flowers and the George Floyd, Jr. mural. If you look around, you can see the corner of 38th and Chicago and the Speedway convenience store across the street. To the left and the right are residential houses and the neighborhoods.
Moving on, you will see a makeshift memorial statue of a black fist raised. This stands at the center of 38th and Chicago.
Following the raised fist, is a group of Black Lives Matter activists who specifically came to participate in the memorial and show support for change.
Standing across the street from Cup Foods, look up and see the sign showing the gas price at the time of the death. From the sign, you can see the everyday events of buying gas or convenience items, reminding us that neighborhoods like 38th and Chicago are not special. In fact, these neighborhoods are prevalent across the United States in cities of all sizes. The tragedy is that every day these neighborhoods are overlooked and forgotten... resulting in diminishing economic development and generational poverty, violence, and low education outcomes.
Continuing on, see the businesses that have been boarded up and affected by the tragedy. While this is now a memorial with people visiting every day, these businesses and their owners are not serving customers. In another tragic turn, the economic activity that is sorely needed in this neighborhood has been shut down. Jobs, wages, and earnings have vanished behind sheets of plywood.
On the street, etched in chalk is a long-list of names of other victims of violence and racial disparities.
Notice the community garden, flowers, and vendor tents. Behind the tragedy, behind the viral video of the death, and beyond the protests and riots, there is a community. A community that needs economic prosperity and economic potential reimagined.
PlaceVR presents this video so that you can experience the corner of 38th and Chicago and so the tragic death of George Floyd, Jr. is never forgotten and is a catalyst for change. But, we also present this video so you can participate in the neighborhood.
No meaningful change will happen until the younger generations in this neighborhood are raised out from the everyday violence, poverty, and racial disparities that exist. By presenting this video and inviting viewers to fully participate in the space, we hope to show the memorial doesn’t just exist within murals and video on social media. First and foremost, this is a place--a space occupied by people every day who go to work, send kids to school, and have neighborhood gatherings --just like neighborhoods in other cities. The difference is that the residents of this neighborhood are burdened with systemic racism, poverty, high teen pregnancy rates, and are forgotten by the people who could help bring economic investment and prosperity.
We hope this and other neighborhoods are not forgotten. Through the power of virtual reality, we want you to participate in the neighborhood and help be part of the solution for these residents. Don’t just be a passive bystander.
-Greg Kolbjornsen, Executive Producer, PlaceVR
Using virtual reality and immersive video technology, Greg Kolbjornsen, executive producer for PlaceVR, captured the neighborhood in its fullness. We invite you to take a first-person walkthrough of the George Floyd, Jr. memorial and look around. That’s right. Look to your left, look to your right and look behind you. Virtual reality gives the power of perspective to the viewer. In other words, the viewer participates in the place and is “in it”.
So watch the video. Then watch it again and again looking around at the details. For behind the memorial, is a neighborhood where poverty and racial disparities create barriers to economic success for the residents. We believe it is time these neighborhoods were lifted up for their potential. This neighborhood doesn’t need another memorial or tragedy. This neighborhood needs the fertilization of economic development and progress.
Take the tour.
Rarely in life do events occur stirring the collective conscience of humanity, causing us to pause our hectic lives and truly see the world around us. One such event occurred on May 25th, 2020 when George Floyd Jr., a 46-year-old-black man, tragically died during an arrest attempt by Minneapolis police officers at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. The video of his death has stirred the consciousness of the nation and the world... Read more
Facts That Matter
Black men have a 1 in 3 chance of going to federal or state prison in their lifetimes.
In 2018, the median black household earned just 59 cents for every dollar of income the median white household earned.
28.5% black of children vs. 8.9% of white children live in poverty
50% of people in this neighborhood will live in poverty during their lifetime.
A few blocks south of this neighborhood, there is a poverty rate of 4.3%. In this neighborhood, the poverty rate jumps to 16.6%. Move a couple more blocks north toward downtown Minneapolis and the poverty rate jumps to 26.7%. Move directly adjacent to this neighborhood and the poverty rate is 47.4%.