Connect with us

Community News

Opal Tometi, Brooklyn-Based Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter, to Keynote at Borough’s Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 16

Brooklyn’s Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr to Feature Opal Tometi, Brooklyn-Based Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter

Every January, artists, activists, civic leaders and community members come together at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to honor the legacy and share the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This tribute is the largest of its kind in New York City. It will be presented on Monday, January 16 with BAM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Medgar Evers College partnering.

Dr. King once said, “Our nettlesome task is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power”.

Attendees of the BAM event will hear the voice and words of a Brooklyn-based taskmaster who Dr. King dreamed would continue his journey. Opal Tometi, Brooklyn-based co-founder of Black Lives Matter, will be the keynote speaker.

The Black Lives Matter Movement, perhaps the most primary extension of the 1960’s Civil and Human Rights Movement, is as misunderstood now as Dr. King’s Rights Movement was misunderstood more than 50 years ago. Her “truth to power” messages will be broadcast to the world when she keynotes at the tribute.

Opal Tometi has been a dedicated activist working at the intersection of racial justice and immigrant rights for more than a decade. Incensed by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and inspired to take action, she, along with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, started the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which prompted activism nationwide and introduced the banner under which this current generation’s Civil Rights Movement marches.


Tometi is the executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the country’s leading Black organization for immigrant rights, steering such initiatives as the first congressional briefing on Black immigrants. Her work and passion as an immigration rights advocate and community organizer stems from her experience as the child of Nigerian immigrants. She has been recognized as a rising leader in the movement, having been included on the Los Angeles Times’ list of new civil rights leaders in the 21st century for her work building movements that bridge immigrant and human rights initiatives to the ever-growing Black Liberation Movement. Tometi and her fellow Black Lives Matter co-founders were honored with inclusion on The Root’s Top 100 list in 2015 for the movement’s social and political impact. In 2016, they received BET’s Black Girls Rock Community Change Agent Award in recognition of their contributions to human rights and were recognized among the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune and Politico magazines.

Tometi reveals raw insights into the adversity inflicted by social injustice, anti-black bias and uninformed views on immigration, and she is committed to educating and inspiring audiences to organize and stand together to transform society into a world where the lives and contributions of all individuals are recognized equally.

Brooklyn resident Opal Tometi will keynote the BAM event, the largest of its kind in New York City.

In addition to Ms. Tometi, BAM’s annual tribute to the civil rights leader will feature performances by the Institutional Radio Choir and the Campbell Brothers. For more information, visit: