Dear Alicia Garza:

We are writing to you, the co-founder of Black Lives Matters because you are a strong woman who because of a Facebook post started a huge movement that has gone down in history and still till this day is inspiring many marches along with protests to stand up for the African American community.

We truly believe in this movement because it is an inspiration to many of us as youth and it makes us think of the different ways us as a community can change and can be able to inform others about the oppression that goes on, on a daily basis in our lives. The issue that is happening around the world is racism. Racism has always been a big topic in many communities, specifically the African American community. We believe in this because there were 1,147 people who died because of the police and 25% were African American citizens in the U.S.( Swey). A quarter of the people being of African descent just shows how much this world needs the Black Lives Matter movement. This shows interpersonal and institutional oppression because racism is happening between individuals but also it involves the police. Our support is to bring awareness to problems similar to this. We are put into melancholy when we read articles are see the oppression of others. We trust this information because Sam Swey is considered as a city leader for all the things he have done such as reaching out to 61 neighborhoods to support low income. Another example would be when two African American men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks while they were waiting for their friend ( Ritschel). To have been arrested for the racism is awful especially when nothing illegal was done, no breaking of the law and yet punished for living their daily lives. This story has been brought to us through reading documents online and also seen a picture of the two African American males.

Moreover, one of the many tactics of social change that have been used to bring awareness to communities was using social media. For example, #BlackLivesMatter is still an important hashtag that a lot of people used in order to bring awareness of the issue that was happening with cops and African Americans. The hashtag was successful and brought more awareness to different communities. Having 7,050,111 posts on Instagram which meant that people over the world were being informed and making a movement on social media to bring awareness and trying to make a change. In addition, another tactic of social change that has been used is creating protest/marches for example in Turning Away From Street Protests, Black Lives Matter Tries a New Tactic in the Age of Trump as Janell Ross and Wesley Lowery were talking about when Alton Sterling was killed, “Outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, where police shot and killed Alton Sterling, a crowd gathered Tuesday night to hold a vigil and protest the Justice Department’s decision not to charge the officer. They held signs and gave speeches. They prayed and cried”(Ross and Lowery). The start of Black Lives Matter is an inspiration for the protest such as this tribute for Alton Sterling. To kill because of racism is wrong and will never be justified. The Washington post knew this very well so they dedicated time to write about the truth.

We, as a community, are trying to bring awareness and trying to make a change. We decided to be upstanders and create a movement ourselves. The way the moment we will create will start of by informing the Life Academy High School about Black Lives matter in order for the community to be informed of what is happening for them to understand the issue at hand. Our movement for the Black Lives Matter will also be apart of many other movements that my peers are standing up for. Our plan is to have a week of movements where we support 7 issues in total. The issues are Black Lives Matter, gang violence, gun violence, DACA, women movement, and mental health/ foster care. Movements start through the unity of people so we as a whole class thought it would be a good idea to come together and have an entire week of wearing different colors that support our issues such as wearing yellow/ black for Black Lives Matter and orange for gun violence. In the past, youth have initiated a plethora of movements and we are motivated by them to be activists. Our team will try to start a new hashtag too that will also support Black Lives Matter. #WeekOfMovements is the hashtag that we started. We want to keep the originality of #BlackLivesMatter but also give supports to all the other movements and that is what we thought of. We wanted to honor everyone in our school who is creating movements for their efforts. The movement we did include making an Instagram account @gvv123_ to post about our week of movements to bring more awareness to them all. Our movement might not be as big as others but every movement is for a powerful cause and that’s all that matters.

Finally, our movement is to bring more awareness to the racism that has been shown towards people of Africa descent. We believe in Black Lives Matter and because of it, we have started a movement on our own with our own hashtag too. We are teaming with many other groups that are starting movements to unify as one and stand up for all those cause. Our week of movement will leave a lasting impression on ourselves as well as others for it is continuous day after day of support. We are using a different tactic of social change called community organizing which is all of us coming together on our terms and deciding a movement. Past protests have inspired us to be together as one. I hope you will support us. #WeekOfMovements


Grady, Victoria, and Victor

Annotated Bibliography

“Instagram.” Instagram,

Instagram is a known social media platform used by millions of people. Instagram has been used to broadcast many causes because of the number of people on it. It is very current in the sense of everyone used it daily.

Ritschel, Chelsea. “Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Receive $1 Settlement Each with the City.” INDEPENDENT, 2 May 2018, 7:48 pm,

This source is credible because it has recently been published. Another reason this source is credible is that there is a video that goes along with the story also showing what exactly happened.

Ross, Jane, and Wesley Lowery. “Turning Away from Street Protest, Black Lives Matter Tries a New Tactic in the Age of Trump .” The Washington Post, 4 May 2017,

This source is trustworthy because it wasn’t published recently.The Washington post is known as a good source and they will not ruin their reputation with informing others with fake news.

Swey, Sam. “Police Have Killed 352 People in 2018.” Mapping Police Violence,

This source is credible because is a data a scientist and policy analyst worked on with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. Samuel Co-Founded Campaign Zero to advance data-driven solutions to end police violence and OurStates to advance state-level advocacy for equity and justice. Previously, Sam worked at PolicyLink,  he was working with 61 promise neighborhoods communities in order to start research-based strategies to build a career system to support low-income families. He has also helped city leaders, youth activists, and community organizations develop citywide agendas to achieve quality education, health, and justice for young black men. Sam grew up in Orlando, FL, and has been involved in community organizing and advocacy since he was in high school. He graduated from Stanford University in 2012, where he studied how race and racism impact the U.S. political system.

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October 10, 2018 1:30 pm

Dear Grady,

My name is Elijah.W from Nelson Mandela School of Social Justice in Brooklyn. I appreciate and applaud you using your voice on the Black Lives Matter Movement even tho it is not really mentioned as much today. I read a comment from Ahmed explaining that your not African American and that stands out to me because it shows that there are good people out here and i respect you for believing in equality and racial change.Thank you for reading my comment and god bless.


May 9, 2018 7:00 pm

Hello everyone.

My name is alexa hernandez and I am a student at Fremont High School here in Oakland. I just read your project blog post and I have some feedback.
One thing I liked about what you wrote was that u wrote some good things in the article and it was interesting too read it and i had fun reading it.

Something I have a question about is i really dont have any questions about your work it seem ok too me

Thank you for sharing your project!
alexa hernandez

May 9, 2018 4:01 pm

Hello everyone.

My name is Ahmed and I am a student at Fremont High School here in Oakland. I just read your project blog post and I have some feedback.
One thing I liked about what you wrote was how you talked about the Starbucks issue in philadelphia it was sad because they were only waiting for there other friend I believe.

Something I have a question about is Are you African American?

Thank you for sharing your project!

May 9, 2018 2:03 am

Hi, all!

First of all, I think your idea is fantastic. Oftentimes, labels that come with movements can have a tendency to inadvertently place individuals in a box. And boxes can be isolating. (In this instance, I’m thinking specifically of the LGBTQ+ community. Or at least, I personally feel I have been placed in my box by my LGBT+ community, but I think it’s true of other communities’ movements, too.) I’m not saying the Black Lives Matter movements has created boxes, as that has not been my understanding or experience. But I am saying that others may feel this way.

What I appreciate about what you’re doing is this: you are breaking the potential for boxes by opening the conversation. You’re inviting other voices in, which is a beautiful thing. In that vein, I think it might be important to mention this in your letter—that movements can be simultaneously unifying and isolating, depending on how people are received or viewed within them, which is why you’re doing what you’re doing with your hashtag.

I also think the Sway source is a good one to use. Organizations like this one that support the cause and have the statistics posted on their sites, but I wonder if Sway is the one who performed the study that revealed these statistics. It might be worthwhile to do some additional digging—maybe even through—to discover the study these numbers come from, rather than the organization reporting them.

I’m not so certain the news sources—as beloved and respected as they may be—are as strong as the organization, but I dothink the quotes you selected from the articles are great, and they serve your intended audience well since you’re addressing the co-founder of Black Lives Matter. However (and maybe this is just the program I’m currently in, but) I’m personally more invested in the organization, especially because it is in line with what you’re trying to do: raise awareness and bring people together about the issue.

I think finding sources that are also invested in raising awareness and bringing people together would be fantastic. The thing to keep in mind is that this woman has founded the movement and she knows what this is about. I think I would suggest that you move your next draft into a more personal letter. Tell her about yourselves and why you’re writing a little earlier. Tell her exactly what her powerful movement means to you! How do you connect with the movement? If you’re writing in appreciation to someone, you are more than welcome to be more on the personable side.

That said, I didn’t have a lot of time to look at your rubric. I don’t know if you need to have a certain amount of sources or say something specific. But I see a draft of this letter being very successful with that personal connection.

I think you have a great base for where this letter can go! Great job. I hope she writes back to you!

All the best,


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