By Julia Craven, huffingtonpost.com
One of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter says she wants to live in a world where all lives matter.
During a keynote speech at the 2016 Personal Democracy Forum on Wednesday Alicia Garza discussed the role black political power plays in revolutionizing democracy.
“Democracy is increasingly hard to define, especially in today’s political context. Not everyone agrees on what democracy is but one thing we do know is that democracy has always excluded black people,” Garza, the special projects director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said.
This status quo has been highlighted during the 2016 presidential race, thanks to Black activists interrupting campaign rallies. Other organized efforts put America’s racial wealth gap and the fight for a higher minimum wage on the Democratic campaign agenda, and ousted prosecutors who failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black people from office.
Garza concluded her speech with a call to continue fighting for a more inclusive America.
“Today’s Black power is transforming democracy — but we cannot do it alone,” she said. “We need the best and the brightest thinkers, strategists, coders, surveillance experts, tech geeks and disruptors to utilize all of the tools we have available to us to build the world that we want to see. A world where Black lives matter. A world where all lives matter.”
“All lives matter” is an infamously divisive term that co-opted its language from the Black Lives Matter movement and is often used to proclaim that it’s not just black lives that matter — but Garza wasn’t looking at it that way.
The Huffington Post reached out to Garza to hear more about what it will take to ensure that all lives matter and the importance of black political power — especially during the 2016 presidential race. Check out her responses below.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.