Founder of ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement coming to KU

By Gabriella Ciaccio

Alicia Garza, social activist and founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, is coming to

Alicia Garza speaks after receiving her award. PBHA’s 9th Annual Robert Coles “Call of Service” Lecture and Award honors Alicia Garza of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter network. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

KU on Tuesday March 29 to speak in Schaeffer Auditorium. She will lead a discussion on race, activism, violence, police brutality and social injustice.

Garza used social media to express her anguish and love for the black community because she was outraged by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. At the end of her statement, she wrote “Our Lives Matter/We Matter/Black Lives Matter.”

Garza, along with her friends, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, turned Black Lives Matter into a Twitter hashtag. Since then, #BlackLivesMatter has become the slogan for this generation’s civil rights movement.

Aside from being the creator of the campaign, Garza is currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She previously served as the executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, where she took the initiative in several projects, including fighting against the police violence in black neighborhoods.

Garza’s work has earned her several honors. She has been awarded two Harvey Milk Democratic Club Community Activist awards for her fight against environmental racism in San Francisco’s black communities. She has also been placed in The Root 100 2015 List of African American achievers and influencers between the ages of 25 and 45 and is featured in the Politico50 Guide to the thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2015. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, The Nation, The Feminist Wire and more.

“I’m really looking forward to this event,” said KU senior Alyssa Fama. “I think it will be really eye-opening for students, and it will be interesting hearing Ms. Garza talk about the movement live and in person.”

This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are require.

Tickets may be picked up at the KU Presents! office in Schaeffer 200 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays, noon – 2 p.m.

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