About Patrisse Cullors
Rise of a Freedom Fighter
Patrisse Cullors is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, artist, and abolitionist from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Patrisse has been on the frontlines of abolitionist organizing for 20 years. Since she began the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, it has expanded into a global foundation supporting Black-led movements in the US, UK, and Canada, and has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The significance of the Black Lives Matter movement has been recognized by The New York Times as the “largest movement in US history.” TIME 100 also named Patrisse as one of the 100 most influential people in 2020. Patrisse has led multiple Los Angeles-based organizations, including Dignity and Power Now, Justice LA, and Reform LA Jails. These organizations have won progressive ballot measures, fought against a $3.5 billion jail plan, and implemented the first-ever Civilian Oversight Commission of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Patrisse is also the faculty director of Arizona’s Prescott College, a new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program, which she developed nesting a curriculum focused on the intersection of art, social justice, and community organizing that is the first of its kind in the nation. As an outspoken abolitionist and artist, Patrisse combined these two passions in early February 2020 when she teamed up with Noé Olivas and Alexandre Dorriz to serve as co-founder of the Crenshaw Dairy Mart, a reimagined art gallery and studio dedicated to shifting the trauma-induced conditions of poverty and economic injustice, bridging cultural work and advocacy, and investigating ancestries through the lens of Inglewood and its community. Not stopping there, Patrisse is also a former staff writer on Freeform’s Good Trouble series as well as an actress on the show. She also co-produced the 12-part YouTube Originals series titled RESIST, which premiered November 18, 2020. In 2020, Patrisse signed an overall production deal with Warner Brothers, where she intends to continue to uplift Black stories, talent, and creators that are transforming the world of art and culture.
100 Most Influential People of 2020
As an artist, Patrisse has directed and produced world renowned docu-series, theater, and performance pieces. Her work has been featured on networks like BET and Blackpills, as well as theaters and galleries across the world. Patrisse recently conducted her first solo show Respite, Reprieve and Healing: An Evening of Cleansing. This piece focuses on trauma, healing, and resilience.
Patrisse is currently the Faculty Director of a new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program at Arizona’s Prescott College, which she nourished and developed. It is the first program of its kind in the nation to focus a curriculum on the intersection of art, social justice, and community organizing.
Patrisse is the recipient of the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation. She has held residencies at The 24th Street Theater and Kalamazoo College. Patrisse has exhibited widely across Los Angeles and the United States, from traditional arts institutions to public spaces. Her work has been shown at Art Basel Miami, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the California African American Museum, the San Diego Art Institute, Kalamazoo College, Pieter Performance Space, Highways Performance Space, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and more. Patrisse holds her MFA from the USC Roski School of Art and Design.
Her Life, Mission, and Achievement
Distinctions, Awards, and Recognitions
Patrisse has been honored with various awards including: The 2020 Durfee Stanton Fellowship, 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, Honoree, The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO).
In honor of Patrisse’s leadership, vision and her work for Black Lives Matter, the Los Angeles City Council has declared “Patrisse Cullors Day” on February 2, 2020.