Passing the Torch: Ella Baker and Opal Tometi

Two women who refused to back down in the face of adversity, Ella Baker and Opal Tometi are warriors of justice.

A leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Ella Baker was involved with some of the most notable organizations including the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). She felt student activists would be an asset to the movement, so she left the SCLC and founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC members joined with activists from the Congress of Racial Equality, and they organized the 1961 Freedom Rides. SNCC also helped organize the Freedom Summer in 1964 in an effort to stand up against the prejudicial laws in the South that discriminated against African Americans.

Another woman who refuses to back down is Opal Tometi, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The feminist freedom-fighter advocates for racial justice, gender equality and human rights. For eight years Tometi was the Executive Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, an organization that advocates for black immigrant communities. She has spoken on hundreds of stages around the world, speaking out against injustice. Named one of TIME 100’s Most influential Women of The Century, Tometi is involved with numerous organizations and has received several awards honoring her efforts.

Leaders in their own right, Baker and Tometi refused to sit idly by and accept the status quo. They recognized the injustices being faced by the Black community, and their courage is what has solidified their legacy as fighters for justice.