(Alicia Garza– Summit 100 at YBCA)
I was excited to write this blog post this week when I found out it was about #BlackLivesMatter because I was actually lucky enough to work at the YBCA Summit 100 this year where Alicia Garza (Creator of the movement for #BlackLivesMatter) was actually one of the Summit 100 this year. I was intrigued by her talk and wanted to share my experience with you guys.
Black Lives Matter is a movement started as a call to action to bring attention to the people of color who are being treated unfairly—mainly after multiple accounts of police brutality towards people of color and the murder of 17-year old Trayvon Martin.
“When we say Black Lives Matter, we are talking about the ways in which Black people are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. It is an acknowledgement Black poverty and genocide is state violence. It is an acknowledgment that 1 million Black people are locked in cages in this country–one half of all people in prisons or jails–is an act of state violence. It is an acknowledgment that Black women continue to bear the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families and that assault is an act of state violence.” (A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Alicia Garza).
One thing I wanted to mention was how I felt when I talk about these issues. Being of Caucasian decent, I sometimes feel like I am looked at as “she doesn’t really know what’s going on” when I talk about these subjects, but I want to take the time to talk about how important these movements are. Without realizing that all lives are equivalent—we deny others their basic human rights. It is important to connect this with one of our last week’s posts about empathy—understanding how it feels to be in others shoes. One quote that stood out to me during Alicia Garza’s Summit 100 was “Cellphones matter. Everything matters, except black lives.” (Alicia Garza) I really loved this quote and I feel like it really resonated with the crowd. The fact that she could speak about cell phones mattering more than someone’s life really struck me and made me realize how serious this issue really is.
It is important to get educated on these topics because there have been many miscommunications around this movement where some people using the hashtag don’t really understand its meaning. I have linked the Black Lives Matter Wiki page to help those read up on exactly what it means to use the hashtag and support the movement. This is my call to action for everyone who reads this post to click on this page to become educated about what it means to support this movement, then make a decision to help it grow. Because, Black Lives Matter.
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YBCA Summit 100 — Alicia Garza talk