In a era when Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, and Freddie Gray died after run-ins with the police and entered our national consciousness, there has been no greater force for uniting would-be activists than Black Lives Matter. The movement started in 2013 following George Zimmerman's acquittal for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin; the organization seeks to affirm the humanity that many fail to prescribe to African Americans, to remind the world that when police officers, vigilantes, and domestic terrorists kill and otherwise silence Black people, they must be held accountable. The hashtag jumped off Twitter timelines and blossomed into a full-fledged, decentralized movement "IRL" that moves experienced and new activists to seek justice in the face of issues that negatively impact black people in their communities. The organization's impact can be felt at the national level, too. The group pushed Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O'Malley to round out their platforms with plans that address racial inequality, police violence, voters' rights, and criminal justice reform.