Alicia Garza tweeted: “Black people I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.”
Over eight years #BlackLivesMatter evolved into far more than a hashtag or even an online conversation. Last month, we recognized the profound impact of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and honored the powerful social and political movement it has become.
As we celebrate Black August, which started in California prisons in the 1970s by Black freedom fighters, we wanted you to hear directly from a Black woman organizing her way to liberation – Aria Sa’id. We teamed up with board member Aria Sa’id for an Instagram takeover. As founder and Executive Director of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, Aria gave us the tea on the shared connections between the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter, and the need to center our most at-risk communities in order to achieve true equality.
Watch Aria in action.
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Power in Advocacy
A 2017, Aria was a part of a Solís Policy Institute (SPI) team advocating for groundbreaking legislation to honor the dignity of transgender people in prison. They helped sign into California law a re-entry process ensuring that legal documents match gender expression upon release from prison.
This year our SPI Local Trauma Services & Prevention team is working to address the specific needs of survivors of gender-based violence within the transgender community to create opportunities that cultivate healing, empowerment and prevention throughout San Francisco. Additionally, our Community Health team is championing the rights of transgender and intersex folks for the creation of an Office of Transgender and Intersex Affairs in Los Angeles County.
In all aspects of our work be it through our Solís Policy Institute Training Program, our commitment to fund BIPOC grantmaking, or our feminist approach to leadership, we’re advancing racial, economic, and gender justice. From WFC’s unique position, we advocate for philanthropic strategies that bring our actions into alignment with our values. Our work at Women’s Foundation California affirms and celebrates the human dignity of black and brown lives regardless of gender, class, or sexual orientation, and prioritizes investing in the safety of our communities.
Towards Liberation and Freedom
Born out of the collective cry for Trayvon Martin, BLM has activated a new generation of leaders. Inspiring hope and building community, BLM is an expression of love and the birth of a new civil rights movement. Addressing police brutality, systemic racism, and building a feminist future can’t wait. This month, and every Black August, we honor freedom fighters and political prisoners advancing Black liberation.
BLM founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi are often asked what is the future of Black Lives Matter? Their responses touches inevitably touches on the many ways BLM has become a political force and a voice for Black liberation worldwide.
The evolution Black Lives Matters movement include BLM PAC (Political Action Committee) focused on electing officials who create Black-affirming policies and the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation — a philanthropic arm which invests in the future of Black lives through grassroots arts and culture and policy work.
Commemorate BLM’s anniversary and Black August:
- Sign this petition for passage of the People’s Response Act to invest in community safety!