Alicia Garza is an American activist, writer, and freedom dreamer living in Oakland, CA. She has organized her work around the issues of student services and rights including rights for domestic workers, ending police brutality, anti-racism, and violence against trans and gender non-conforming people of color. Garza is best known for holding the titles of co-founder of Black Lives Matter, executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), and special projects director for National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA).
NDWA is the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women. NDWA works to improve working conditions while building a powerful movement rooted in the human rights and dignity of domestic workers, immigrants, women, and their families. For 7 years now, Alicia serves as the trusted counsel for 53 affiliate organizations across the country looking to build their capacity to lead and win organizing campaigns. Alicia's work challenges us to celebrate the contributions of black lives, gays, and women within society, and reminds us that the black radical tradition is long, complicated and international.
Alicia also served as executive director of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) in San Francisco. Under her leadership, POWER won free local public transportation for youth, fought for a seat at the table in some of the most important land use decisions affecting working-class families, beat back regressive local policies targeting undocumented people, organized against the chronic police violence in black neighborhoods, and shed light on the ongoing wave of profit-driven development that contribute to a changing San Francisco.
Garza began the Black Lives Matters movement in 2013 by inspiring the slogan when she posted on Facebook: "Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter, Black Lives Matter." Garza's organization Black Lives Matter was spurred on by the deaths of black people by police in recent media and racial disparities within the U.S. criminal justice. Garza also led the 2015 Freedom Ride to Ferguson.
Alicia Garza has been breaking through the boundaries of gender and race issues for decades, striving to find equality within society, and will continue to do so at this year’s Net Impact Conference.