Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi are the women behind Black Lives Matter. Their relentless work over the last couple of years has been honored not only by The Root but also by Glamour magazine, which honored them as its 2016 Women of the Year.
Black Lives Matter was started in response to George Zimmerman’s being found not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin. It was started with a simple Facebook post.
“Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter,” Garza wrote on Facebook. Cullors shared the post and added the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
The Black Lives Matter movement has become a force to be reckoned with. And although they may not always get the credit they deserve, Cullors, Garza and Tometi didn’t just come up with a hashtag. They came up with a movement, and coupled with their years of work in activism, it’s a movement that has spread across the world.
“We gave tongue to something that we all knew was happening,” Tometi told Glamour. “We were courageous enough to call it what it was. But more than that, to offer an alternative. An aspirational message: Black lives matter.”
The founders are also joined on the list by Simone Biles and Zendaya Coleman and will be honored at Glamour’s award ceremony in Los Angeles on Nov. 14.