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Opal Tometi

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Residence  Brooklyn, New York
Alma mater  University of Arizona
Organization founded  Black Lives Matter
Occupation  Activist, writer
Nominations  Shorty Award for Activist
Opal Tometi httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons00
Known for  Black Lives Matter, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Awards  Glamour Award for The Justice Seekers
Similar  Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, Trayvon Martin

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Opal Tometi is a New York-based Nigerian-American writer, strategist and community organizer. Tometi is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She is the Executive Director at BAJI (Black Alliance for Just Immigration). Tometi collaborates with staff and communities in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York City, Oakland, Washington D.C. and communities throughout the Southern states. Tometi's work has been published by The Huffington Post.


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Personal life and education

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Tometi is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. She is the oldest of three children and has two younger brothers. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Masters of Arts degree in communication and advocacy from the University of Arizona. Opal is a former Case Manager for survivors of domestic violence and still provides community education on the issue.

Black Lives Matter

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Tometi joined with Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza to give shape to the Black Lives Matter group.Tometi is credited with setting up the social media aspects of the movement.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Prior to becoming Executive Director of BAJI, Opal worked as Co-Director and Communications Director. Her contributions include leading organizing efforts for the first ever Black-led rally for immigrant justice and the first Congressional briefing on Black immigrants in Washington DC. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration was founded in April 2006 to respond to anti-immigrant sentiment and repressive immigration bills under consideration by Congress.


Tometi has spoken at Susquehanna University, the Facing Race Conference of 2012, the Aspen Institute's Ideas Summit, and the Grinnell College Technology and Human Rights Symposium. She has presented at the United Nations and has participated with the United Nations Global Forum on Migration and the Commission on the Status of Women. In 2013 Tometi was invited to the White House to meet with Heather Foster, Obama's liaison to the African American community at the time. While at The University of Arizona Tometi volunteered with the American Civil Liberties Union. She is additionally involved with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity and is a member of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.

Recognition and awards

Tometi was featured as a new civil rights leader by Essence Magazine in 2014 and by the Los Angeles Times in 2013. She was listed in the Root 100 list of African American Achievers between 25 and 45. She was listed in the Cosmopolitan Top 100 list of extraordinary women. Along with Garza and Cullors, Tometi was named on the Politico50 2015 Guide to Thinkers, Doers, and Visionaries. She received an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson University on May 7, 2016.


Opal Tometi Wikipedia