Thomas McLaurin, Floyd's cousin, described the goals of the George Floyd Memorial Center this way: "We want them to know that they can make a difference! You don't have to die to make a difference. We want them to live and make a difference, and see things that they could be in our community moving forward."
They've chosen the day of his death, May 25th, as what they call a day of enlightenment. The letters D.O.E. -- standing for Day of Enlightenment -- are on merchandise, including shirts and masks, they're selling with a goal of building the center with the proceeds as well as any additional funding they can arrange from a variety of sources.
Floyd was a native of Fayetteville but organizers of the memorial center plan to build it in Raleigh.
"I mean, we're right here in the Research Triangle, we've got a major airport here," said McLaurin. "This is a place where people can come, learn more about the city, the state, and about the South."
Plans call for a museum and leadership academy inside the center, along with a scholarship fund. They believe those features and more can help guide the trajectory of young lives in a positive direction.
"You all noted, we have to bring the community together. We have to listen to each other," said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin before the reading of her proclamation designating May 25 as a day of enlightenment. "Not just to one side, both sides, And we must act. We have to get things done."
Organizers haven't chosen a likely site for the center.
"We don't have a physical location yet but we do have an area, and that is right here in southeastern Raleigh," said McLaurin. "And we'd love to be close to downtown, to Shaw University, because we've been in talks with them about collaborating on some projects."
He did identify 2022 or 2023 as projected years for the center's opening, and possible activity to follow.
"Have a major group and perform, have big speakers, those are things we're looking at down the road. But for this year, we just want people to recognize this is the one year anniversary. Go do something good for someone else," he said.