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Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza born on January 4, 1981 is best known as the founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. She has a past of activism and coined the phrase Black Lives Matter which she posted on her Facebook page after the George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. This organization was created to act as a voice for those black people who have died from police brutality.

Before the Black Lives Matter movement, Garza was an activist in San Francisco. Some of her accomplishments as an activist include the following:

  • Alicia Garza fought for free public transportation for young people and won.
  • Garza also organized a protest in response to how long Michael Brown's body was left in the street after he was killed. Garza and other protesters chained themselves to a public transportation train. They were finally taken off the train when police dismantled a part of the train.
  • Alicia Garza has won numerous awards throughout the years and is seen as a leader and innovator for black lives.
  • Hillary Clinton supports Alicia Garza and her movement and has said, "We need to acknowledge some hard truths about race and injustice".

For the most part, today's society recognizes that overt racism is unacceptable. However, the stereotypes, prejudices, and rejection of minority groups that led to overt racism remains. Today, racist beliefs are legitimized with statements rationalizing rejection of the minority groups' upward movement in society. According to Garza, any plan to dissipate racism must attack the formation of negative stereotypes and rationalization of racist belief.

Psychological studies show that the media has the power to create beliefs. The media has often been used to construct the norms of society, and through this representation has created an image of certain cultures. Prejudice is based on biases that lead people to be judged according to group membership and often includes negative assumptions about outgroups. Repeated negative or unfavorable representation of group members will lead to stereotyping of that group.

A government-sponsored media campaign to represent minority groups in ways that counteract negative stereotypes would work toward erasing the idea that individuals from the dominant race are superior. This disconfirming information should be delivered on a regular basis by an accepted member of the dominant group. Television media personalities are generally thought to represent the wealth, education, and outward appearance deemed most desirable by the viewers in that area. These social authority figures are the most effective deliverers of this information.

These efforts should also emphasize factual and statistical evidence that dismisses stereotypical beliefs. For instance, the belief that most minorities are on welfare should be combated with federal welfare statistics. Use of such evidence is necessary, as symbolic racism is marked by rationalization of resentment of minority groups' negative impact on society.

Another way to dispel stereotypes is to stop their development, which begins as early as preschool. Federally assisted financial institutions should be required to adhere to culturally sensitive curriculum. For instance, history courses should be taught with attention to the richness of diversity in other cultures. Values like justice, equality and freedom must be stressed to ensure that students recognize the legitimacy of every individual's role in society.

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