Nepperhan Community Center director: Kids took George Floyd tragedy and turned it into opportunity for activism

The Hudson Valley community is remembering George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his death.

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2021, 2:14 AM

Updated 1,116 days ago


The Hudson Valley community is remembering George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his death.
Floyd was killed last year by a police officer in Minneapolis. A video that showed the knee of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes as he slowly died led to nationwide protests.
It also spurred action at the Nepperhan Community Center in Yonkers.
The center is a place that is a resource for thousands of kids in the city.
Executive Director Dr. Jim Bostic says the video showing Floyd's death caused a lot of pain for the kids at the center, but many have taken the tragedy and turned it into an opportunity for activism.
"They used their anger and their frustration to learn how to speak out," says Nepperhan Community Center executive director Dr. Jim Bostic.
One of the leaders is Joshua Heron, of Yonkers.
"We see this nine-minute video that we can't escape from. It's literally in your eyes," says Heron.
The 19-year-old is a freshman at Howard University, and was one of 25 people on the Yonkers Police Reform Committee. The group released a 75-page report earlier this year.
"It only takes a mustard seed to plant. It's the smallest seed and it can be the smallest interaction, but once you plant that seed, you don't know how someone's life could change. And that's what we want with police-community relations," says Heron.
Heron says that committee was just the beginning.
"We all need that transparency among one another and openness among one another just to converse," he says.
Bostic says he's proud of the kids at the center, and that they are planning a rally for social justice for the summer - all led by the teenagers who come to the Nepperhan Community Center.

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