5 Movements Likely to Make a First-Time Appearance in the 2016 Open
5 Movement Likely to Make a First-Time Appearance in the 2016 Open: Black Lives Matter Foundation (BLM)
The BLM Foundation was founded in 2004 by three young activists. They were all college students at the time. One of them, Alicia Garza, went on to become one of the most well known leaders within BLM today. She’s been featured on CNN, MSNBC and other major news outlets including The New York Times and USA Today.
Another activist, Patrisse Cullors, is another leader within BLM. She’s been interviewed by the media on many occasions. She’s also worked with celebrities like Colin Kaepernick and others.
Black Lives Matter is not just a movement but a philosophy that seeks to end police brutality against African Americans and other minorities in America. The organization has been active since its inception, and it currently boasts over 100 chapters across the country.
BLM has been involved in several high profile protests such as the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Other notable events include the killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York City; the beating and arrest of Sandra Bland in Texas; and the death of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Black Lives Matter is a powerful force within American society. It’s influence is felt far beyond race relations issues alone. The group has protested issues such as LGBTQ rights, gender equality and wage inequality. While it is a controversial topic, the organization’s mission is clear: fight against police brutality and create a better society for people of color in the United States.
BLM also has several famous allies, including Kaepernick, who donated over $20,000 to the organization. BLM also has the support of Rihanna, Jay Z and Beyonce. In fact, Jay Z and Beyonce held a benefit concert in December of 2014 for the group. The event raised $1 million dollars for the organization.
Furthermore, several politicians have also allied themselves with BLM. In 2015, Democratic Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, attended a BLM meeting, where he was enthusiastically received. That same year, Democratic Nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, met with members of the organization and consulted with them on how to improve race relations in America.
BLM continues to fight for racial equality in America, and it’s important that people understand who they are and what they stand for.
Origin of the Movement
Black Lives Matter is a social movement that was founded after the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black teenager, who was shot and killed on February 26, 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member of the gated community in Sanford, Florida where Martin was temporarily living.
Awareness of the movement rose after the deaths of two other black men: John Crawford and Michael Brown in 2014. These three deaths were highly publicized, and Black Lives Matter began to achieve national attention as a freedom movement for African-Americans. The organization focuses on ending police violence against African-Americans, but it also addresses other issues that the black community faces.
Who are the Leaders of Black Lives Matter?
The BLM movement is decentralized. It’s not run by any one person or head, which is why it’s known as a movement, not a traditional organization. There are several high profile members of BLM that speak on behalf of the movement and are sometimes seen as leading it, but ultimately power resides in the people.
Although the movement has no designated leader, certain figures have more influence than others. This includes founders Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza, as well as activist DeRay Mckesson.
Fatal Police Shootings
The Black Lives Matter movement is a response to an alarming number of fatal police shootings in the United States. According to The Washington Post, there have been 990 people killed by police in 2015 as of December 23. Of those, only six were unarmed. The other 984 victims were either armed or carried a toy weapon.
The black community has especially had issues with police brutality in the United States, and Black Lives Matter is a movement designed to put an end to that violence.
The organization has created an online database called “Mapping Police Violence” which tracks and logs every police involved shooting in the U.S. The information in the database can be downloaded and used by anyone, and shows that since January of 2013, there have been 7,881 reported police shootings.
The site also reports that 5,545 of those shootings, or 73%, involved a subject who was either unarmed or carrying a toy weapon.
Black Lives Matter is not without its critics. Some people argue that the organization should focus on black-on-black crime instead of police shootings.
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