USF Welcomes #BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder to Feb. 24 Teach-In

SF Police Chief Greg Suhr will be a featured panelist discussing power of building community

SAN FRANCISCO– The University of San Francisco (USF) Center for Diversity Outreach & Community Engagement is proud to host, “Speak Out & Listen In: A Teach-In on Building Community Power” on Tuesday, Feb. 24. This interactive, day-long teach-in brings together students, professors, university leadership, community members, law enforcement, and activists to raise awareness about prejudice, privilege, and persecution, in the wake of national protests alleging widespread police violence against African-Americans.

Among the most notable speakers at the teach-in is #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Alicia Garza, special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She created the social media hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” after the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin and helped lead the social media movement as it grew and took to the streets in cities across the country after the deaths of Eric Garner, in Staten Island, N.Y., and Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo., last summer.

Garza will speak alongside USF Diversity Scholar, Clarence B. Jones, political advisor and draft speechwriter to the late Martin Luther King, Jr., starting at 9:55 a.m. during a student-led speak out where student leaders will be invited to voice their personal reactions to the persistent inequalities and injustices that continue to permeate the broader society and local communities.

A key panel discussion of the day, starting at 2:40 p.m., will focus on the power of building community, and feature the following panelists:

  • Joseph E. Marshall, Founding President, Alive & Free – Omega Boys Club
  • Greg Suhr, San Francisco Police Chief
  • Melvin Cowan, Employment and Education Specialist, First Place for Youth
  • Lena Miller, Founder and Executive Director of Development, Hunter’s Point Family

Media interested in covering any portion of this event should contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations, at (415) 422-2697 or

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and stunning cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit