MLK Symposium Speaker: Alicia Garza

Date: 
Wed, 01/13/2016 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 N. University

UMSI and the U-M Graduate Library host Alicia Garza, co-creator of the viral Twitter hashtag and associated movement #BlackLivesMatter, in this U-M Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium event.

This event is open to the public. A Q&A session will take place after her speech.

About the speaker:

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 last words into a Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, that prompted a nationwide activist movement.

Garza is an established social activist committed to challenging society to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all individuals, specifically black people and queer communities. Her activism is rooted in organizational strategies and visions to connect individuals and emerging social movements. Her work also involves advocating to preserve 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 for her work fighting gentrification and environmental racism in San Francisco's largest remaining black community.

Garza is currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance and previously served as executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, where she was in charge of significant initiatives, including organizing against chronic police violence in black neighborhoods.