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Founder of Black Lives Matter Movement to Speak at KU


February 2, 2016 (revised March 19, 2016)

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Alicia Garza, social activist and founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, will lead a discussion on race in America, activism, violence, police brutality and social injustice on at Kutztown University Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium.  This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. Tickets are free and may be picked up at the MSU Information Desk, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

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 powerful last words into a Twitter hashtag. Immediately prompting activism nationwide, #BlackLivesMatter has evolved into the banner under which this generation's civil rights movement marches.

An established social activist committed to challenging society to recognize and celebrate the contributions of all individuals, specifically black people and queer communities, Garza's 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.

Currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Garza previously served as Executive Director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights, where she led the charge on significant initiatives, including organizing against the chronic police violence in black neighborhoods.

Empowering and enlightening, Garza serves as a beacon for individuals and organizations across the country fighting against the plague of social injustice, and galvanizes citizens to organize and stand together to transform society into a world where the lives and contributions of all individuals are recognized equally.