EventsLowell Lecture — Philonise Floyd

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Lowell Lecture — Philonise Floyd

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM


Anti-racist activist and brother of George “Perry” Floyd, Jr. will converse with Boston Public Library President David Leonard about how we can use our outrage at systemic injustice to catalyze social transformation through community organizing and passing reforms. An audience Q&A session will follow the discussion.

On May 26, 2020, Philonise O’Neil Floyd learned that four police officers in Minneapolis murdered his older brother after a store clerk alleged that he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill. The world saw named officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; however, the people of the Earth did more than watch and mourn. Across the United States and internationally, George Floyd’s death sparked a worldwide outpour of protests against police brutality, especially toward Black people. 

Moreover, Philonise Floyd’s life as a professional transporter drastically changed forever. On June 10, 2020, the day after laying his brother to rest, he testified before United States Congress. He urged them to “Do the right thing” by passing the Justice in Police Act of 2020 baring choke holds, creating a registry to track officers with serious misconduct records, and lifting certain legal protections that make it difficult to prosecute officers for using excessive force. He vowed that his brother’s death would not be in vain or become another hashtag on a t-shirt and begun to tirelessly advocate to change systematic racism and the challenges faced due to racist police terror that has for over 400 years led to the harassment and killing of African Americans. 

A brief bio of our guest speaker:

On June 20, 1981, Philonise O’Neil Floyd, was the fourth child born to the late, Mrs. Larcenia “Ms. Cissy” Jones on Fort Hood army base. Raised in the Third Ward area of Houston, Texas. He attended Jack Yates High School and Texas Southern University pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. In 2014, Floyd started his professional driving career with C. R. England one of the nation’s largest refrigerated carriers; later accepted a position with W. M. Dewy and Son, Inc. hauling custom pipes to their specific destinations.

The GBH Forum Network will produce this program.

This program is part of the Lowell Lecture Series sponsored by the Lowell Institute.

Programming like this is enabled through the generosity of a variety of public and private funding. To learn more and support our programming, visit the Boston Public Library Fund website.

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