Alicia Garza

American activist and writer (born 1981)

Alicia Garza (born January 4, 1981) is an American civil rights activist, known for co-founding the international Black Lives Matter movement and for Her editorial writing published by The Guardian, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and Truthout.

Alicia Garza in 2016


  • Race and racism is probably the most studied social, economic and political phenomenon in this country, but it's also the least understood. The reality is that race in the United States operates on a spectrum from black to white. Doesn't mean that people who are in between don't experience racism, but it means that the closer you are to white on that spectrum, the better off you are. And the closer to black that you are on that spectrum the worse off you are.
  • When we think about how we address problems in this country, we often start from a place of trickle-down justice. So using white folks as the control we say, well, if we make things better for white folks then everybody else is going to get free. But actually it doesn't work that way.... When we talk about the wage gap, we often say women make 78 cents to every dollar that a man makes. You all have heard that before. But those are the statistics for white women and white men. The reality is that black women make something like 64 cents to every 78 cents that white women make. When we talk about Latinas, it goes down to about 58 cents. If we were to talk about indigenous women, if we were to talk about trans women, it would even go further down. So again, if you deal with those who are the most impacted, everybody has an opportunity to benefit from that, rather than dealing with the folks who are not as impacted, and expecting it to trickle down.
  • So we know that young people are the present and the future, but what inspires me are older people who are becoming transformed in the service of this movement. We all know that as you get older, you get a little more entrenched in your ways. It's happening to me, I know that's right. But I'm so inspired when I see people who have a way that they do things, have a way that they think about the world, and they're courageous enough to be open to listening to what the experiences are of so many of us who want to live in world that's just and want to live in a world that's equitable. And I'm also inspired by the actions that I'm seeing older people taking in service of this movement. I'm inspired by seeing older people step into their own power and leadership and say, "I'm not passing a torch, I'm helping you light the fire."
  • I was impacted in a way that I didn’t expect...We see black death all the time, and I don’t know what it was about this, but I know I went home and then I woke up in the middle of the night crying. And I picked up my phone and I started clickety-clacking, right?... Patrisse and I, we started talking about building an organizing project around state violence... Patrisse had been working on her own stuff at the time — the Dignity and Power Now. She was just getting that off the ground. All of this stuff kind of came into synergy. I knew designers and artists here in the Bay [Area] who were really excited to help and reached out and said, ‘What can we do?’ And so that’s really the genesis of this.
  • Stop saying we are not surprised. That’s a damn shame in itself. I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter. And I will continue that. Stop giving up on black life.”
  • Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.



See also

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: