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Faces Within the Movement & Beyond

Art work credited to Michael White

*This is part of a series showing undying support to the Movement for Black Lives, which consist of various activist groups & organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, actively fighting for black liberation and social mobility. We give thanks to Dream DefendersRace ForwardBlack Youth Project 100BlackbirdMillion Hoodies, OBS: the Organization for Black Struggle, Ferguson Action, Southerners on New Ground, Project South, and countless other collectives fighting against social and economic injustice: 

The term “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW) has a negative connotation now. It’s usually applied to activists, online or on the ground, who use social activism as a means to raise their personal brand or reputation. Pejoratively calling an activist or a concerned student or a concern citizen a SJW is a tactic used to dismiss systemic racism.

But when there is 1.5 million missing black men, when black women are still unprotected, when racist housing policies prevent black social mobility, when the school-to-prison pipeline continues to entrap black children, when every aspect of black life is disrupted by the residual effects of American history, activists have no time to entertain or defend the term “Social Justice Warrior.”

Young activists are collectively forging their own path and solving socioeconomic issues. There are several methods to their activism. Through national and local organizations, you will find them on the frontline of marches, sparking social media campaigns, and pressuring presidential candidates. Darnell Moore, in an interview with DemocracyNow!, made a distinction for this modern day black liberation movement.

“I think it’s important to distinguish between Black Lives Matter network, which is, you know, a collective of chapters across the country, versus the Movement for Black Lives, which consists of Black Lives Matter, the network, and so many other contingencies.”

Since systemic racism is still disrupting black social mobility, activists are disrupting the complacency that keeps the system prospering.

Here are several young civil/ human rights activists who are using their platform, their passionate voice, marching feet, and social media presence to implement their list of demands for not only black liberation but to advance the relationship between the average American citizen and the state.

We’re missing a lot of people from this list. Consider it a small starter kit, in no particular order:

Alicia Garza @aliciagarza 
Activist and writer, Director of Special Projects at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-founder of Black Lives Matter movement.
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Opal Tometi @opalayo 
Nigerian-American writer, strategist and community organizer. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter
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Patrisse Cullors @osope
Artist and activist, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement
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Darnell Moore @Moore_Darnell 
Writer and activist, Senior Correspondent at MicNews and Co-Managing/Editor at The Feminist Wire
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Phillip Agnew: @philofdreams
Co-founder of the activist group in Florida: Dream Defenders
o-PHILLIP-AGNEW-facebook

Johnetta “Netta” Elzie: @nettaaaaaaaa
Johnetta Elzie is an activist and organizer out of St.Louis. See: This is the Movement

Aja Monet (left): @aja_monet  and Ahmad Abuznaid (right): @diplomatesq
Aja Monet is a poet, writer and activist. Ahmad Abuznaid is the founding member of Dream Defenders along with Gabriel Pendas.
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DeRay Mckesson: @deray
DeRay Mckesson is an activist, organizer, and educator. He’s a member of the Movement for Black Lives and recently announced his candidacy to run for mayor of Baltimore. 


Image credit: Sid Hastings/For Washington Post via Getty Images

Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell: @bdoulaoblongata 


Image Credit: Alexis Templeton (left) and Brittany Ferrell (right)

Franchesca Ramsey @chescaleigh
Comedian, activist, television and YouTube personality. Writer for The Nightly Show and star of MTV’s Decoded.
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Ashley Yates:  @brownblaze
Co-creator of Millennial Activists United
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Image Credit: CNN

Shaun King: @shaunking 
Senior Justice Writer at NYDailyNews/Activists. Founder of Justicetogether.org


Photo credit: Scott Wade

Juliana Pache @thecityofjules  
Afro-Cuban/Dominican singer, writer behind #blacklatinxhistory
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Antonio French @antonioafrench
Antonio French is an educator. Founder of the North Campus. Hit national scene after documenting Ferguson via his Twitter.

Photo Credit: Jamelle Bouie 

Molly Greider: @mollyrosestl
Activist and Organizer very active in Ferguson

Malcolm London: @MalcolmLondon
Performer, Educator, and Activist in Chicago. Member of Black Youth Project 100.

Image Credit: Malcolm London

Asha Rosa @ashapoesis 
New York: Asha Rosa is a member of the Students Against Mass Incarceration at Columbia University. She’s also a member of Black Youth Project 100.

Larry Fellows III: @geekNStereo
Larry is an Amnesty USA young leader fellow. He began his activist after Ferguson. 

Paul SFrosty Jackson: @sfrosty215
Philadelphia: Paul is a member of Philly Coalition for REAL Justice. He was part of the huge “Philly is Baltimore” march, featuring in the video below.

Some websites and organizations:
Another list of activists: “BOLD Organizing” released their 2015 list

 

article by Wilkine Brutus


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