Celebrating The Founders of Black Lives Matter


Gabrielle Ott, Editor

The Black Lives Matter movement founded and created by three women in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin was an innocent black teenager who was fatally shot for no reason other than that he was black. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Opal Tometi created the movement that has now spread throughout the country and into schools, helping pave a way to make America a better place for the black Americans. 

Alicia Garza was born on January 4, 1981 (she is 39 years old). She was born in Oakland, California, and grew up there. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a degree in anthropology and sociology. She is most well-known for co-founding Black Lives Matter. Garza also helped launch Black Future Lab, which advocates to make black communities stronger, and Supermajority, which advocates for political power for women. Alicia Garza helps continue to pave the way for advocates for black equality and power for women as she finds ways to make the world a better place. 

Patrisse Khan-Cullors was born in 1984 and is 36 years old. She grew up in Los Angles in a low-income neighborhood. She earned a degree from UCLA in religion and philosophy, and in 2007 earned the Mario Savio Young Activist of the Year award. She is most well-known for co-founding the Black Lives Matter movement and being a LGBTQ advocate. Khan-Cullors is not afraid to speak out and helps create a world for young activists to rise and make change. 

Opal Tometi was born in 1984 and is 36 years old. She is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. Tometi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Masters degree in communication and advocacy at the University of Arizona. She is most well-known for co-founding Black Lives Matter and her role as the executive director for BAJI (Black Alliance for Just Immigration). Opal Tometi inspires others through her immigrational history and how she continues to open opportunities for immigrants and activists alike.