Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors & Opal Tometi (Active from 2013–present)
After the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman, a Florida man tried for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, Alicia Garza wrote three words on social media that motivated a generation and sparked a social justice campaign: black lives matter. Patrisse Cullors converted the saying into a hashtag and Opal Tometi began organizing a social media presence for the group. Together, the three women have built and promoted the #BlackLivesMatter movement, turning it into a juggernaut for racial justice. Despite the public’s familiarity with the movement, it often goes overlooked that an organization meant to shed light on systemic police violence against the African American community—and African American men in particular—was founded by black women.
Sarah Grass is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. sarahgrass.com
This feature originally appeared in the Fight issue.