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Black Lives Matter

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.

The company's competitive advantage in 2016:

Network of committed organizers and activists across more than 30 chapters worldwide

The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:

State violence
Public lack of understanding of the mission behind the movement

Social media handles:

Twitter: @blklivesmatter
Instagram: @blklivesmatter

Diversity breakdown:

Primarily African-American membership


Founders Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza
public or private
45 million people who are Black or Black and one or more races

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