The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for compelling countries around the world to address systemic racism.
Why it matters: The BLM movement launched in 2013 following George Zimmerman’s acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager. The case kickstarted the international movement to address the controversial deaths of Black people, particularly at the hands of police.
- The group has “been able to mobilise people from all groups of society, not just African-Americans, not just oppressed people … in a way which has been different from their predecessors,” Nobel nominator Norwegian MP Petter Eide said, per the Guardian.
Background: The BLM movement was co-founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.
- The mission spread in the years thereafter as protesters denounced police killings of Black Americans including Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
- BLM amplified calls for justice last year after law enforcement officers killed George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, resulting in mass protests and a global racial reckoning.
What he’s saying: “It’s a strong linkage between antiracism movements and peace, and a recognition that without this kind of justice, there will be no peace and stability in the society,” Eide said.
- Of note: He dismissed criticism that BLM is violent, citing data that shows 93% of Black Lives Matter demonstrations do not cause serious harm to people or property.
- “Awarding the peace prize to Black Lives Matter, as the strongest global force against racial injustice, will send a powerful message that peace is founded on equality, solidarity and human rights, and that all countries must respect those basic principles,” Eide concluded.
The big picture: Last year’s Nobel prize recognized the World Food Program in a pointed assertion that multilateralism is saving lives. This year’s winner will be selected in October and the award ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 10.