The Kennedy Political Union announced that its first speaker of 2016 will be Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Cullors will address the audience and then answer students’ questions in the Mary Graydon Center University Club at 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
In addition to creating the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, Cullors is a founder of Dignity and Power Now, an organization that promotes the rights of incarcerated people and their families. She also received a Fulbright Scholarship and won the Mario Savio Young Activist of the Year award in 2007, a prize given to “a young person with a deep commitment to human rights and social justice and a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action,” according to the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture Fund website, which sponsors the award.
“As a queer woman of color, Cullors has spent her life fighting for marginalized communities across the nation. Her work is extremely important to the American University student body, as well as many American University student organizations,” said KPU Communications Director Coby Eiss in a press release.
Several student groups, including The Darkening, Black Student Alliance, African Students Organization, Caribbean Circle, Latin American Students Organization and Student Advocates for Native Communities are co-sponsoring the event.
All AU students and faculty are welcome to attend, with limited seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis according to the press release.