‘Real Talk’ virtual town hall series focuses on helping participants mentally prepare for Chauvin trial

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The Urban League Twin Cities held a virtual town hall on Friday as part of its series called "Real Talk." Friday’s focus was on preparing families and communities for the upcoming high-profile murder trial in the death of George Floyd. KSTP’s Brandi Powell spoke with Black civil rights and mental health leaders about it.

"I believe that he is absolutely entitled to a jury by his peers, and he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, however, that presumption of innocence does not negate what I saw … My hope is that we will see justice for George Floyd," Steven Belton, president and CEO of Urban League Twin Cities, said.

Belton said, for him, justice for George Floyd looks like several things.

"It begins with holding Derek Chauvin accountable … Justice also involves systemic change, beginning with the culture of policing," Belton said.

Full KSTP George Floyd death coverage

Belton helped launch the urban league’s "Real Talk" series as a space for the community to have robust conversations. Belton said during the town hall, "We too have a stake in the outcome of the trial."

"Real Talk" panelist and licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya leads the African American Child Wellness Institute. She offered guidance for parents navigating these months ahead with their children.

"Explain the world in a developmentally appropriate way for the age of the child, that’s the first thing, and the second thing is to not overexpose kids to scenes that may depict violence," Garrett-Akinsanya said.

Garrett-Akinsanya also recommended adults nourish their bodies and mind before the trial.

"Our challenge for wellness is to learn how to dig deep inside of our spirit as our soul, our lineage, to remember that our heritage is one of people who have overcome," she said during the "Real Talk" town hall.

For more information on the Urban League Twin Cities, a link can be found here.