Black Lives Matter Co-Founder to Speak on Campus

Black Lives Matter co-founder and 2002 UC San Diego alumnus Alicia Garza will give a talk for the Winter Quarter 2019 edition of the Marshall Speaker Series on Feb. 26. Garza is expected to discuss her perspectives on “sparking comprehensive societal change and ending social injustice, police brutality and systemic racism in America.”

Along with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, Garza created the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida for the murder of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is attributed to Garza’s Facebook post in response to the verdict in which she stated “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter, Black Lives Matter.” Garza is also responsible for the establishment of  Black Lives Matter chapters throughout the country as a result of the 2015 Freedom Ride to Ferguson, Missouri that she led protesting the police shooting of Michael Brown.

Since her work founding the Black Lives Matter movement, Garza has continued her advocacy and activism through many interviews, articles, and acts of protest and is currently serving as the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Identifying as a queer woman, Garza incorporates her sexuality and gender into her vision and ideas: “In order to truly understand how devastating and widespread this type of violence is in Black America, we must view this epidemic through of a lens of race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

In addition to her activism fighting oppression and violence against Black Americans, Garza organizes for rights for domestic workers and students and issues of health.

Dean of Thurgood Marshall College Bernard Anderson stated that Garza’s work is a reflection of the values promoted by Marshall College, which coordinates the Marshall Speaker Series.

“It’s an understatement to say that we’re thrilled to welcome Alicia Garza back to her UC San Diego home,” Anderson told the UCSD Guardian. “Thurgood Marshall College’s grassroots legacy is firmly rooted in activism and social change, and I know that Alicia will inspire us with her presence and vision. Her courageous and tireless efforts in stemming the tide of social injustice and combating systemic racism will no doubt solidify her place in the pantheon of revered civil rights activists and visionaries.”

The Marshall Speaker Series hosts a talk every quarter by an accomplished individual who embodies the college’s philosophy of creating a “more just society.” Past speakers include the son of Thurgood Marshall, former executive editor of the New York Times Bill Keller, and Nobel Laureates Derek Wolcott and Wole Soyinka.

The event featuring Garza will be held in the Price Center West Ballroom from 5:00-6:30 p.m.. No admission fee will be charged, but attendees must register in advance through Eventbrite.


photo by Sam Morris // Huffington Post