The Movement of the Moment: Alicia Garza’s Talk on Black Lives Matter
Alicia Garza, a social activist, co-founded the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2013 when she expressed her outrage over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Garza, along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, turned the Black Lives Matter hashtag into a banner that represents this generation’s human rights movement. This movement, initially powered by social media, came from the social, economic, and cultural issues that have arisen from tensions concerning race. However, Black Lives Matter has spread beyond Twitter and connects people across this country who seek to promote equality and end various forms of injustice. The founders of this movement give talks about race relations in America and tell of their experiences with the transformation of their peripheral activism into the national movement that seeks acceptance and equal recognition for every individual in society.
Though she will be at Skidmore to discuss her past influences on the Black Lives Matter movement, Ms. Garza’s lecture is a continuation of her desire for justice and equality as she seeks to challenge society to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all black lives. Garza’s significant role in this movement has earned her a list of honors and awards that include a spot on the 2015 Politico50 Guide to the thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics. In addition to the talks and lectures that she has given, Garza’s words have also made their way into papers such as The Guardian, The Nation, and The Feminist Wire. The Root, an online magazine that celebrates African American culture, also placed Garza on their list of African American achievers and influencers in 2015. Garza worked to end chronic police violence in black neighborhoods as the executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, and currently serves as the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Garza travels all the way from her home in Oakland, California, as she makes her way across the country, discussing the importance and significance behind her words “Black Lives Matter.” At Skidmore, Garza will continue her mission to promote a more equal and just world where every individual is valued, respected, and recognized, and to create a society in which all of its citizens can walk with dignity.