Black Lives Matter Founders Awarded Sydney Peace Prize

By Kenrya Rankin Nov 03, 2017

While Federal Bureau of Investigation officials spend their time labeling people who put their bodies on the line for the freedom of Black people “Black identity extremists,” the Sydney Peace Foundation just honored the founders of the Black Lives Matter Global Network for their work.

Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi were awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in Sydney, Australia. They delivered the 2017 City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture yesterday (November 2) and will be honored at a gala today (November 3). The prize recognizes “vital contributions of leading global peacemakers, creates a platform so that their voices are heard and supports their vital work for a fairer world.” Recipients receive $50,000 and a trophy. Past winners include South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission head Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Senator Sekai Holland, co-minister for reconciliation, healing and integration in Zimbabwe.

Australian outlet SBS reports that the founders met with members of the country’s Indigenous community during their trip and saw direct parallels between Black people there and in America.

“Similar poverty rates, similar mass incarceration rates, the deaths in custody that are being swept under the rug—these are all things we feel in the U.S. so there is a deep affinity around this resistance and this struggle,” Cullors said at an event on Tuesday (October 31).