LYNCHBURG, Va. – A community is taking a look back a year after the murder of George Floyd.
During the social unrest, people rioted in Lynchburg and protested for several days. Floyd’s death sparked an outcry for change that echoed in streets across America and right here at home.
“It was a day that opened a lot of eyes,” One Community, One Voice Director James Camm says. “It was a day that made people stop, look and ask, ‘Are we doing everything right? Can we change some things?’ It paved a great road to where we are going now.”
Camm has spent nearly a decade working to unite people, specifically people and local law enforcement. But on Tuesday, he remembered the moment that kind of unity was needed most.
“We began to come to the table and understand the need of diversity and the need of concerns of others,” he says.
Communities nationwide have felt the impact since the day Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Within hours, Floyd became a household name.
“It gave me more motivation to get active with Black Lives Matter,” Bryan Moss says.
For some, the past year has brought people across racial and ethnic lines together. For others, it led to reform and created a new generation of young activists like Moss.
“I believe that it has started some necessary conversations and that’s where I believe the most change will take place,” he says.
Moss was one of many who took to the streets in the Hill City calling for change in policing and stressing a broader racial reckoning.
“I think it’s still an excellent opportunity for our country to right some wrongs, if we can accept that we’ve actually done wrong,” he adds.
Though Moss and Camm acknowledge the community has taken steps in the right direction, they say there’s still work to be done.
“Just because of this being an anniversary, we don’t want it to fall on deaf ears,” Camm says. “We want to never go back to the way we were. We always want to move forward for equality and opportunities for all.”