Death of George Floyd: South LA’s Community Coalition addresses social justice fatigue

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) — It has been two years since the killing of George Floyd sparked protests and awareness of social injustice around the world.

community coalitiona non-profit organization based in South Los Angeles, wants to ensure the focus remains on change.

“Although thousands of people have protested around the world, we still need to do more to enact policies and programs that actually strengthen the livelihoods of Black and Brown people,” said Ryan Smith, Community Coalition’s chief strategy officer.

A Pew Research poll found that despite an increase in support for the Black Lives Matter movement in June 2020, support dropped back to 2017 levels a few months later.

As of June 2020, 67% of US adults surveyed said they strongly or somewhat support the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, by September of the same year, that number had dropped to 55%, where it remained in September 2021.

One indicator of interest is a Google search for “Black Lives Matter.”

The search for interest in the topic peaked in the week immediately following Floyd’s murder.

It remained slightly elevated through late 2020, and then had a small peak during the week of the Jan. 6 Capitol Uprising. Since then it has leveled off a lot.

Meanwhile, the Community Coalition is hosting a free art exhibit exploring 30 years of civil unrest in South LA. Organizers hope it can stimulate conversation and encourage change.

“This exhibit is really about looking at the past, present and future and seeing what has changed in South LA,” said Glauz Diego, the director of arts and culture. “Has it gotten better? But not only that, but also a look into the future.”

ALSO READ | What has changed 2 years after George Floyd’s death? Where are we going now?

The art exhibition was curated to showcase the struggle for social justice within the community.

Organizers said there was still work to be done.

“Now, two years after the death of George Floyd, not only do we still see racist and anti-Black attacks by Black people, but we also see senseless killings of school children,” said Ernesto Rocha, associate director of arts and culture at the Community Coalition.

Smith said change begins with more funding.

“The state has a hundred billion dollar surplus right now, and while that’s amazing, if it doesn’t go to places like south Los Angeles and east LA and the Valley, we know it, where we see people from the Working class struggle day in and day out we haven’t made an impact,” Smith said.

Smith said he was heartened to see the increased interest in the movement, but now he wants people’s lives to get better every day.

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Laura Coffey

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