It was July 2013 when the world encountered a brilliant, powerful assemblage of words that would come to define a generation. Alicia Garza gifted Black millennials the rallying cry #BlackLivesMatter in the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. She unleashed the power of digital activism to create a movement and revealed to us that a hashtag, a post, an image, and a video shared online could change the course of history.
Before joining forces with community organizers Patrisse Cullors-Khan and Opal Tometi, Alicia’s work had already spanned nearly two decades. Drawing inspiration from her childhood growing up in a household with a single mother, the lifelong Californian began her early work with an emphasis on reproductive justice. Since then, she has been able to see how the pieces of seemingly disparate issues like economic justice, students’ rights, and police brutality are all intertwined in the fight against state violence.