Patrisse Cullors is a Prism Senior Fellow focused on criminal justice. Artist, organizer, educator, and popular public speaker, Patrisse is a Los Angeles native and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and founder and board chair of grassroots Los Angeles-based organization Dignity and Power Now. She has been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform for the last 20 years and is leading Reform LA jails, a ballot initiative that will be voted on in March 2020.
In 2013, Patrisse co-founded the global movement with the viral twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter which has since grown to an international organization with dozens of chapters around the world fighting anti-Black racism. In January 2016, Patrisse Cullors published her memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. Her memoir became an instant New York Times Bestseller.
From 2016 to 2018, Patrisse worked as a Senior Fellow at MomsRising where she worked on ground breaking Federal legislation that will change the outcomes of maternal mortality for women, especially Black women. She also executive produced two podcasts with Rewire.News and developed a booklet labeled c section chronicles.
As an artist Patrisse has directed and produced world renowned theater, performance pieces, and docu-series. Her work has been on networks like BET and Blackpills as well as theaters and galleries across the world. Most recently she conducted her first solo show titled: Respite, Reprieve and Healing: An Evening of Cleansing. Her work focuses on trauma, healing and resilience.
Patrisse is currently an Associate Professor at Prescott College where she teaches in the masters program for Social Justice and Community Organizing. She developed and created a class that focuses on the intersection of art and social justice.
Patrisse has been honored with various awards including: The 2019 Champion for Peace and Justice from the Trayvon Martin Foundation, The Next Generation Award (2018) from ACLU National, The Sydney Peace Prize Award (2017), Black Woman of the Year Award (2015) from The National Congress of Black Women, Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century Award (2015) from the Los Angeles Times, Community Change Agent Award (2016) from BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Inc., Women of the Year Award for the Justice Seekers Award (2016) from Glamour, and ESSENCE’ first-ever Woke Award.
In 2019, Patrisse graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Watch her new video here: Patrisse Cullors: "Why I Became A Prism Senior Fellow"