Black Lives Matter emerged from the hearts and minds of our three co-founders: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. It came to life right here in Los Angeles, where the first chapter was birthed. Our herstory is an important telling of the emergence of Black Lives Matter, and Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles specifically, as a reclamation of and recommitment to Black radical organizing and Black freedom struggle.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network is comprised of 40 chapters around the globe bound together be a vision for Black freedom, unwavering commitment to liberation work, and our Guiding Principles.
Youth have been integral to Black Lives Matter since our inception, with children participating in our first meetings, actions, and convenings. In 2015, our youth leaders officially formed the Black Lives Matter Youth Vanguard and began to organize around justice for Black children, especially in schools
Arts & Culture
BLMLA Arts and Culture recognizes the powerful potential of the Arts as a tool for social and political transformation. Inspired by the Black Arts Movement of the Black Power Era, this collective moves within the tradition of conceptualizing, creating and highlighting artistic works made to contribute to the actualization of a just and liberated world for Black people.
Even as we struggle to transform the systems under which we live, meaningful reform is essential. The BLMLA Policy Team engages in local and statewide policy initiatives that disrupt practices of state violence.
Black Lives Matter is much more than a racial and social justice movement, it is rooted in Spirit. Like each successful iteration of Black freedom struggle, Black Lives Matter draws deeply from spirituality and the path forged by our mightiest Ancestors. The Sacred Resistance Team was built following the installation of the 45th President of the United States in 2017, recognizing that the toppling of the White-supremacist-patriarchal-heteronormative-capitalism that he embodied requires significant Spiritual work. Sacred Resistance is an interfaith effort that utilizes Spiritual tools and practices to advance justice.
The BLMLA Legal Team provides general information (not legal advice) to the families of those who have been killed by police, specifically around how to gain access to public information and documents. The team also does basic “know your rights” trainings for members and allies and helps to guide the chapter through legal challenges. The team does not provide legal representation, advice, or referrals.
The Black Lives Matter Action Team guides the actions, demonstrations, and protests of the chapter. The team strategizes and plans for both intuitive and organized actions that advance the vision, goals, objectives, and campaigns of Black Lives Matter and BLMLA.
The Communications Team focuses on internal and external communications, including traditional and social media. Communications also works on messaging and sharing BLMLA campaigns with a wider audience.
Working in collaboration with the Youth Vanguard, the Education Team is comprised of classroom teachers, parents, and students who are committed to making “Black Lives Matter in Schools.” The Team partners with ally organizations, including United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and the Schools LA Students Deserve to advance racial justice in schools and make schools a place for liberatory education, not repressive practices that include the policing of our children.
Black Lives Matter is deeply committed to economic justice and need for workers to organize. The Labor team works with unions, worker centers, and labor organizations to advance worker justice -- and specifically Black worker justice.
The BLMLA Research Team engages in both data support for campaigns and archiving the work of the movement. The Research Team is comprised of trained scholars, students, and community researchers and is rooted in the premises that we are experts in our own experiences and that research is only valid and valuable inasmuch as it serves as a tool for the movement.