Social Activist & Co-Creator #BlackLivesMatter
Ted Constant Convocation Center - Big Blue Room
President's Lecture Series
Outraged by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza took to social media to express her anguish and love for the black community. Ending her message with Our Lives Matter/We Matter/Black Lives Matter, Garza-together with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors-turned those powerful last words into a Twitter hashtag. Immediately prompting activism nationwide, #BlackLivesMatter has evolved into the banner under which this generation's civil rights movement marches. An established social activist committed to challenging society to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all individuals, specifically black people and queer communities, Garza's activism is rooted in organizational strategies to connect individuals and emerging social movements. She is also a prominent advocate for the preservation of an open internet to provide a space for these movements to emerge. Garza's work has earned her various honors, including two Harvey Milk Democratic Club Community Activist Awards. In 2015, Garza and the Black Lives Matter co-founders were honored with inclusion on The Root's Top 100 List for the movement's social and political impact. Currently the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Garza previously served as Executive Director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, where she led the charge on significant initiatives, including organizing against the chronic police violence in black neighborhoods. Empowering and enlightening, Garza serves as a beacon for individuals and organizations across the country fighting against the plague of social injustice, and galvanizes citizens to organize and stand together to transform society into a world where the lives and contributions of all individuals are recognized equally.
Garza, Alicia, "Social Activist & Co-Creator #BlackLivesMatter" (2016). President's Lecture Series. 6.