Patrisse Cullors receives Sydney Peace Prize
On November 3rd, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and USC Roski School of Art and Design MFA student Patrisse Cullors accepted, along with Black Lives Matter co-founders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, the Sydney Foundation Peace Prize on behalf of the organization and global movement they created. The Sydney Peace Foundation showcases solutions that prove that peace with justice is possible, and inspires and empowers people from all walks of life to create that reality in their lives and communities. This is the first time a movement and not a person has been awarded the Peace Prize.
The Sydney Peace Foundation citation stated: “For building a powerful movement for racial equality, courageously reigniting a global conversation around state violence and racism. And for harnessing the potential of new platforms and power of people to inspire a bold movement for change at a time when peace is threatened by growing inequality and injustice.”
This award for Black Lives Matter and recognition for its co-founders comes at a time when Patrisse Cullors tackles a new challenge in a life dedicated to empowerment; for herself and for marginalized communities. Beyond the demands of her humanitarian work, she is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at USC Roski School for Art and Design. She states:
“I grew up in Los Angeles during the War on Drugs and War on Gangs. I witnessed the neglect of a people marginalized and dismissed. It’s through this experience Black Lives Matter was developed and created. As an artist I’ve spent much of my career navigating being both organizer and creator, and I’ve utilized my practice to challenge all of us to bear witness to the results of man-made traumas. The two-year, MFA program at USC Roski that I’m now pursuing is allowing me to sharpen my practice and re-evaluate the deep importance art and organizing plays in this ever-changing world.”
Cullors has also just released the book, When They Call You a Terrorist, a Black Lives Matter Memoir co-authored with asha bandele; now available in bookstores.