The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Founders of the “Black Lives Matter” movement are coming to Cornell Feb. 3 for the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

The Black Lives Matter movement originally consolidated around the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media in 2013, as a response to bias and racial violence, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida in the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, two of the community organizers credited with beginning the online campaign that became a national civil rights movement, will be joined by Janaya Khan, an international ambassador for #BLM Network, at Cornell’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture, Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. in Sage Chapel. The event will also feature performances by the Community Unity Music Education Program and the Baraka Kwa Wimbo gospel ensemble.

The annual King Commemorative Lecture provides a public, campus-based forum making the life and legacy of Dr. King accessible for contemporary times. It is sponsored by Cornell United Religious Work, the Africana Studies and Research Center, and Student and Campus Life. Community sponsors include the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Southside Community Center, Ithaca College Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources.

To get more information on this event, see this Cornell Chronicle story.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.