News Details

January 26, 2016

Tometi to Present as Part of Brad Long Peace Education Fund Lecture Series

The Office of Multicultural Programs at West Virginia Wesleyan College, in conjunction with the Brad Long Peace Education Fund Lecture Series, welcomes Opal Tometi, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, in a talk entitled “#BlackLivesMatter” on Sunday, February 7 at 3 p.m. in Wesley Chapel.

Tometi is a dedicated activist working at the intersection of racial justice and immigrant rights for more than a decade.  She was incensed by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and inspired to take action.  Starting the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, Tometi, together with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, prompted activism nationwide and introduced the banner under which this generation's civil rights movement marches.

An established immigration rights advocate and community organizer, Tometi’s passionate interest stems from personal experience as the child of Nigerian immigrants. Recognized as a rising leader in the movement, she was named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the Los Angeles Times in 2015 and ESSENCE magazine in 2014, for her work building movements that bridge immigrant and human rights initiatives to the ever-growing black liberation movement.

With personal perspective as a first generation American and an experienced community organizer, Tometi reveals raw insights into the adversity inflicted by social injustice, anti-black bias and uninformed views on immigration, 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.

The Brad Long Peace Education Fund was initiated at West Virginia Wesleyan by Reginald ’46 and Patricia ’76 Long. After losing their son in a car accident in 1983, the Longs wanted to honor Brad’s deepest wish for his life that he might be instrumental in creating a climate where peace could flourish. They chose to establish this fund to assist in a continuing effort by Wesleyan and the people of Buckhannon to explore avenues leading to peace between individuals as well as nations. The Longs also wanted to offer support and encouragement to young people of similar vision, to emphasize the importance of individual action, and to promote a basic attitude of peace in everyday life.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Robert Quarles, director of multicultural programs and services, at



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