Type: Public event

Masterclass in Activism with Angela Harrelson


Angela Harrelson, Celeste Watkins-Hayes

Date & time

Jan 20, 2023, 4:00 pm EST


The Center for Racial Justice, in partnership with Democracy & Debate, proudly welcomes Angela Harrelson to the Ford School and the University of Michigan for our Masterclass in Activism event.

About the speaker

Angela Harrelson is the aunt of George Floyd, a Caretaker of the George Floyd Global Memorial that commemorates the site of George Floyd’s murder, the co-chair of the memorial’s board of directors, and the author of Lift Your Voice: How My Nephew George Floyd's Murder Changed the World. Joined in conversation by Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes, the interim dean of Ford School and founding director of the Center for Racial Justice, Ms. Harrelson will share her experience with tragedy, her path to racial justice activism, the organic growth of the memorial as a site of international outpouring of commemoration, and the power of community activism to preserve history and propel change.

Please share this opportunity with your colleagues, students, and friends, and RSVP to join us in person or virtually for this special event. Reception to follow after the event.

Book cover for "Lift Your Voice" by Angela Harrelson

About the book

Angela Harrelson tells the behind-the-scenes story of George’s family—how he lived and why he died—and how the world can find a solution to racism through his death.

Angela Harrelson grew up poor, one of thirteen brothers and sisters raised in a shack in the North Carolina woods. She was first in her family to go to college, first to be commissioned in the military, and first to have a career as a professional nurse. Along the way, she and her family were exposed to the harshest forms of racism—from her childhood riding the school bus with white children who made the Black kids stand, to racist commanding officers in the Air Force who told her they wanted her to fail.

Nothing stopped Angela, and nothing removed the hope in her heart that America could learn to stop hating people based on the color of their skin. This is the story of George Floyd’s aunt, Angela Harrelson, and how, after being suddenly thrust into the spotlight, she went on a quest to make sure her nephew did not die in vain.

Lift Your Voice is a memoir of faith, hope, and bravery, of what we all—Black and white—need to do to eradicate racism from our society. It’s a story of tragic loss and a worldwide uprising to ensure Perry’s death ushers society into a time where people are no longer judged, hated, or killed because of the color of their skin.


This Masterclass in Activism is hosted by the Center for Racial Justice and co-sponsored by U-M's Democracy & Debate.

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