TACOMA, Wash. – Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza will be keynote speakers at the 2018 Race & Pedagogy National Conference at the University of Puget Sound, Sept. 27–29. Cullors and Garza are co-founders of Black Lives Matter, a viral Twitter hashtag and movement to end state violence that has grown to an international organization with 40 chapters in four countries working to combat anti-black racism. Tickets are available at tickets.pugetsound.edu.


Garza is an internationally recognized organizer, writer, and public speaker. She is the founder of Black Futures Lab, an organization that invites participants to experiment with new ways to build independent, progressive Black political power. As the strategy and partnerships director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Garza works to build movements at the intersections of race, gender, and economic justice. Her writing has been published in Time, Mic, Marie Claire, The Guardian, Elle.com, ESSENCE magazine, and The New York Times.

Cullors is the founder of a grassroots, Los Angeles-based organization called Dignity and Power Now. She also is a senior fellow at MomsRising, where she is working on ending maternal mortality and morbidity. Her memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, reached The New York Times best-seller list and was heralded by O, the Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, and many other prominent publications.

Along with Opal Tometi, the third co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Cullors, and Garza have received numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize and Fortune magazine’s 2016 list world’s greatest leaders.

The Race & Pedagogy National Conference is held every four years. It is organized by the University of Puget Sound’s Race & Pedagogy Institute, a partnership between the national liberal arts college and the South Sound community. The 2018 conference theme, “Radically Re-Imagining the Project of Justice: Narratives of Rupture, Resilience, and Liberation,” will be explored through lectures, discussions, panels, presentations, performances, and visual arts exhibitions.

Cullors and Garza will deliver the keynote at the conference's final plenary session on Saturday, Sept. 29. Additional keynote speakers include author and journalist Jeff Chang, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chairman Brian Cladoosby, and Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

Sponsors of the 2018 Race & Pedagogy National Conference include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an anonymous foundation donor, the City of Tacoma, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, the Black Education Strategy Roundtable, Franklin Pierce Schools, and MultiCare Health System.

The 2018 Race & Pedagogy National Conference is open to the public. Participants can register at pugetsound.edu/RPI. Details on speakers and the program can be found on the website, which will be updated regularly.

Press photos of Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza can be downloaded from pugetsound.edu/pressphotos.

Tweet this: #BlackLivesMatter co-founders @AliciaGarza and @OsopePatrisse to speak at the @PSRaceandPedagogy conference @univpugetsound Sept. 27–29. Registration open now. #Race #civilrights #BLM #Tacoma

Follow us on Twitter! twitter.com/univpugetsound