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Founders of Black Lives Matter to Receive Sydney Peace Prize

UNITED: Black Lives Matter founders (left to right) Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors. Photo credit: Ben Baker/Redux

THE FOUNDERS of the Black Lives Matter movement will be awarded at this year’s Sydney Peace Prize.

The award, which Australia’s Sydney University has offered since 1998, will honour Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tomet, who founded the movement following the death of Trayvon Martin and and the acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman.

“This movement resonates around the globe and here in Australia, where we have become inured to the high incarceration rates and deaths in custody of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Pat Dodson, the West Australian Laborer senator and the 2008 recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize, said in an interview. “It’s as if their lives do not matter.”

Since the inception of the BLM movement, the organisation has become a global crusader against injustice, and has also helped bailout black mothers from jail for Mother’s Day and supported black-owned businesses across the country.

“We’re not just about hitting the streets or direct action…it’s a humanizing project,” co-founder Cullors said. “We’re trying to re-imagine humanity and bring us to a place where we can decide how we want to be in relation to each other versus criminalising our neighbors or being punitive towards them.”

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