Patrisse Cullors of #BlackLivesMatter speaks to packed house at Englert

Patrisse Cullors, one of the co founders of the Black Lives Matter movement came to Iowa City last Monday and spoke about the origins of BLM and mobilizes movements.

Marquee on the night of the lecture. Photo by Isabelle Robles.

Marquee on the night of the lecture. Photo by Isabelle Robles.

Harry Westergaard, Arts Editor, Co-Copy Editor

On Monday February sixth, Patrisse Cullors, creator of the twitter hashtag and movement #BlackLivesMatter appeared at the Englert. Part of the UI’s lecture series, Cullors began speaking at 7:30 in the evening to a full house. The audience was lively and mostly very supportive to the cause. Cullors recounted the creation of the movement.

Originally spurred by the murder of Trayvon Martin, the phrase was created when one of her friends ended a facebook post with the now famous words. Cullors became inspired and made it into a hashtag, which with help and support from others over time became the Black Lives Matter movement. Also touched upon was the fact that there is still progress to be made in the movement. It’s not just cis-gendered straight boys who are being murdered. It affects women and people in the LGBT community, and while the media does not shed as much light on them, we need to work to do so ourselves.

Cullors reminded us that this movement is more important than ever with the current political situation. Especially with our current president (whom she refused to call by his name, and instead referred to him as simply “45”). She cited the fact that we have entered a different fight, with fascism now the enemy. It’s a global movement and there are many ways in which we can expand not only BLM but other movements as well. “All of our movements must join in this time,” Collars stated. All of these movements must mobilize to fight the common foe. Cullors also pushed people to do more than sit around and incessantly post on social media. “How are you showing up? How will you show up?” she implored members of the audience.

Patrisse Cullors spoke with great passion to a very dedicated and lively crowd. She gave insightful thoughts and advice to what we can do in these tumultuous times. The event was held at the Englert for part of the UI Lecture series. Upcoming speakers in the series include Oscar Salazar, Reza Aslan and Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr.

The audience waits attentively for Cullors to speak. Photo by Isabelle Robles