Patrisse Cullors is ranked #16 of 69

Director of Truth and Reinvestment w/ @ellabakercenter, co founder of #BlackLivesMatter, lover of justice, artist, organizer

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My political story

I grew up during the war on drugs and war on gangs. During that time my neighborhood was suffering because of the lack of investment that was being made towards black and brown poor communities. I developed a significant amount of rage and knew in my bones that I needed to help change the conditions that I grew up in. When I was 16 years old I was given bell hooks, Audre Lorde and Alice Walker. These books shaped my perceptions of myself and my community. I knew that I would be able to transform my surroundings if given the right tools. I eventually came to work for a civil rights organization in Los Angeles, which I built with for over 11 years. After the amazing training I received there I started my own project, Dignity and Power Now. In the last 3 years myself and my team have built a vibrant organization in Los Angeles that focuses on building the power of formerly incarcerated people's their families and communities. In the last month I have transitioned from DPN staff to being a board memeber. I am now proudly working for the Ella Baker Center as the director of the Truth and Reinvesment Campaign. A campaign that is developing a state wide and eventually national network of victims and survivors of state violence.

Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship

I believe I deserve a NetRoots Nation scholarship, because the work that I have been doing for the last 15 years is both important and critical. I believe that I can and have amplified some of the most painful issues this generation has faced. If given this scholarship I can help continue to shape the national dialogue around law enforcement violence and anti black racism.

What first inspired me to get involved

My first inspiration was reading Audre Lorde and her brilliant analysis around intersectionality. I felt like she was speaking to my 16 year old black queer self, and every single one of her words were the perfect fit to my chaotic life.

The blog post I am most proud of

In 2014, during Labor Day weekend, after the shooting of Mike Brown, myself and Darnell Moore co organized a Black Lives Matter ride from across the country into St. Louis and Ferguson. We were able to organize over 18 cities and we brought over 600 people together to support and show solidarity with the community of St. Louis.

More about my political involvement

I currently volunteer for #BlackLivesMatter, a national network that has over 23 chapters and was created in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman. We have been able to influence th national dialogue around anti black racism, intersectionality, and law enforcement accountability. Our chapters lead locally focused campaigns, as well as contribute to the national conversation around all black lives mattering.

How I've gotten others involved

I am an actively engaged on social media platforms. I have written multiple blogs about organizing, healing, demand development and next steps forward in our current movement. I have developed multiple popular hashtags and have used socia media to build a following and a base.

My Twitter manifesto on online activism

It allows for multiple narratives to be developed and shared to a mass audience.

If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:

Cage Free Humans!

My wild idea for a cool new action

I would develop a petition that would focus on spending more money on alternatives to prison.

I am a

Grassroots Activist