Black Lives Matter at MU

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COLUMBIA - It's expected to be a packed house at Jesse Auditorium Thursday night, as the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement are set to speak at the University of Missouri.

The movement’s co-founders, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, are scheduled to talk about social injustices, systematic racism and effective advocacy.

Chelsea Fricker, a graduate assistant for the Department of Student Activities, said the event was scheduled back in August and was not the result of recent racial tensions on campus.

“We’ve been wanting to have them for a while now,” Fricker said. “I hope it facilitates a respectful conversation with the people who disagree with the black lives matter event.”

Fricker said MSA sought out the movement’s co-founders because the two women are skilled at starting difficult discussions.

“They focus a lot more on the discussion, and that’s why we pursued these two specifically,” Fricker said. 

The speech is open to the public. Garza and Tometi will each take questions from the audience after a short speech. Tickets are $5 for the general public, and the event is free to MU students.

Fricker said the question-and-answer session will provide students with a unique opportunity.

“I think it’s important for marginalized students to be heard, and they need a platform to talk about what they experience," Fricker said.