Heralded as a feminist freedom-fighter in the U.S. and now a global icon, Opal Tometi is one of the most influential human rights leaders of our time. As one of the three women co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, her name is etched in American history. For years, the award-winning advocate, strategist and writer has used her voice to ensure that race, immigration, and gender justice remain at the forefront of global conversations.
Opal’s story of heart, passion, and justice starts in her childhood. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tometi experienced first hand the challenges that her tight knit Black immigrant community faced while growing up in Arizona. She witnessed the heartbreaking human rights crisis at the US-Mexico border and as a result became an outspoken community organizer. Young Opal launched initiatives to tackle homelessness in Phoenix. In school she led student advocacy and council groups, showcased her Blackness on a competitive step team, and argued passionately on a debate team. As she got older, and as her eyes were opened to the realities of the human condition, Opal’s voice grew stronger and louder.