Patrisse Cullors ’12

Patrisse Cullors is a local organizer, artist, author, and professor who has advocated for people of color in Los Angeles since her teenage years. She is recognized as one of the founding members of Black Lives Matter, an international organization that fights anti-Black racism and discrimination. Her work promotes global law enforcement accountability in addition to addressing the trauma and health effects of police brutality. Cullors has used art as a form of political expression to cast light upon the violence of incarceration. She toured the country with her art piece titled STAINED: An Intimate Portrayal of State Violence, which she created after graduating from UCLA in 2012. In the same year, Cullors founded the nonprofit Dignity and Power Now, a grassroots organization that advocates for incarcerated people, their families, and the community. And in 2019, she teamed up with digital media company blackpills to produce RESIST, a docuseries following her grassroots efforts to stop a $3.5 billion jail expansion plan in Los Angeles. Her commitment to advancing social justice has impacted countless lives and created space for underserved communities to have a voice.

“While other people are trying to subjugate human beings, there’s a whole other group of people trying to liberate them and I’m on that side of history.”

Listen to audio description of Gabe Gault’s portrait of Patrisse