The Root

The Root: Top 100 List



#BlackLivesMatter. Those words, that refrain, was created by three black women in 2013. Opal Tometi is one of them. In addition to her work growing and working with #BLM chapters, this child of Nigerian parents is also the executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, one of very few organizations that specifically address the rights of African and Caribbean immigrants in this country. Tometi, like her cohorts, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, is invested in taking Black Lives Matter beyond police brutality, and her work addresses everything from mass criminalization to the adverse impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on communities of color. “Black Lives Matter is not just an organizing network, but also a strategic concept broad enough to go beyond borders,” she says.


Opal Tometi is a co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.