Opal Tometi Bio, Activist, BGSU, Notre Dame, Facts and Instagram. | instantbios.com Opal Tometi Bio, Activist, BGSU, Notre Dame, Facts and Instagram.

Opal Tometi Bio, Activist, BGSU, Notre Dame, Facts and Instagram.

Who is Opal Tometi ?

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Opal Tometi Bio

Opal Tometi is a Nigerian-American human rights activist, writer, strategist, and community organizer. She is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She is currently the Executive Director at BAJI (Black Alliance for Just Immigration).

Tometi was the co-founder of Black Lives Matter. She brought attention to the racial inequities faced by Black people. Before that, Tometi was an active community organizer in her hometown advocating for human rights issues. She has campaigned for advancing human rights, migrant rights, and racial justice worldwide.

Opal Tometi Age

Opal was born between 1983 and 1984. She is between 35 and 36 years old as per 2019.

Opal Tometi Family

Opal Tometi is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. She is the oldest of three children and has two younger brothers. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Masters in Communications and Advocacy from the University of Arizona.

On May 7, 2016, she received an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson University. Tometi is a former Case Manager for survivors of domestic violence and still provides community education on the issue.

Opal Tometi Activist

Black Lives Matter

She joined with Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza to give shape to the Black Lives Matter group. Tometi is credited with setting up the social media aspects of the movement.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Prior to becoming Executive Director of BAJI, Tometi worked as Co-Director and Communications Director. Her contributions include leading organizing efforts for the first-ever Black-led rally for immigrant justice and the first Congressional briefing on Black immigrants in Washington DC.

Opal Tometi

Other Activities

Tometi has spoken at Susquehanna University, the Facing Race Conference of 2012, the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Summit, and the Grinnell College Technology and Human Rights Symposium.

She has presented at the United Nations and has participated with the United Nations Global Forum on Migration and the Commission on the Status of Women.

While at The University of Arizona, Tometi volunteered with the American Civil Liberties Union. She is additionally involved with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity and is a member of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.

Opal Tometi BGSU

Opal Tometi addresses Black Lives Matter and police brutality at BGSU

Opal Tometi, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement, came to BGSU addressing the black experience, police brutality and the importance of allies.

“Black Lives Matter was first an internal call for our communities,” Tometi said.

In 2013, three black community organizers, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, created the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. It was a social media response to the not-guilty verdict of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s alleged murderer.

“We had to be unapologetic and name what was going on in our community,” Tometi said.

Over the past six years, Black Lives Matter has created more than 40 chapters across the country with efforts to raise awareness on police brutality and maintain humanity in black lives.

“Being treated as though our skin is a weapon is intolerable,” Tometi said. “Even six years into the Black Lives Matter Movement, we are still treated this way.”

Black Lives Matter exercises resistance in an effort to fight the oppressors in law enforcement and the judicial system. The movement’s mission is to promote that black lives are just as important as everyone else’s.

“Quite honestly our silence was leading to more and more deaths,” Tometi said. “Our silence was leaving our community thinking that this is okay. We had to say enough is enough.”

Tometi said America didn’t get to this place overnight, stating that government and law officials have antagonized and killed black people with ill intentions for decades. She talked about her dad having to get another car because he was consistently pulled over for being behind the wheel of a BMW. She said the movement cannot progress without the help of white people and their awareness.

“It’s important to me because Opal Tometi said something about white people having to get their people,” Tulsa Fearing, McNair Scholars Program graduate assistant, said. “Because who else is going to do it. She said ‘if it wasn’t for y’all, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.’ And I felt that.”

Tometi said black people have progressed, but the real change is with our allies.

“I think people need to recognize where they have privilege and power in situations and why it’s important to not stay silent if something is going wrong,” Fearing said. “People need to think about that and be aware of that. It’s critical. Being an ally is not something I take lightly. I feel like it’s a responsibility. I take it seriously. It’s an action, not just a chore.”

“Ultimately, we are fueled by love and fueled by a hope that things can be different,” Tometi said.

Opal Tometi Notre Dame


Neutrality is not an option, and there is no time to waste, social activist Opal Tometi said Monday night during an hour-long keynote address at the University of Notre Dame. Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Tometi spoke to an overflow crowd of more than 300 as part of Walk the Walk Week on campus.

“We have to actively bend the arc toward justice,” Tometi said on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, paraphrasing the late civil rights leader. “We have to decide what side of history are we going to be on? We are in a capital-H, history-making moment. That type of moment is happening right now, every single day.”

Referencing the weekend controversy involving the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C., and a group of students from Covington (Kentucky) Catholic High School, Tometi said King’s work is far from complete. “It’s not just that time will pass and people’s minds will change and they’ll be evolved,” Tometi said.

“You see young white boys taunting an indigenous elder … the disrespect. That taunt was so despicable, so disheartening. And the fact is we have an administration, we have systems in place that are reinforcing and encouraging this type of behavior.” A viral video clip of the altercation showed the teenagers laughing, hooting and hollering while surrounding a Native American elder.

Opal Tometi Facts


Opal is the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (aka BAJI), where she brings the voices of Black residents from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America to the battle for immigrant rights and justice.


Opal Tometi, along with fellow Black Lives Matter Co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza are featured in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History & Culture. Their three-word rallying cry and its global reverberation are documented through artifacts like protest signs, videos, gas masks, and more for generations to come.


When she isn’t fighting to make the world a better place, Opal can be found traveling the world: From Mexico to Italy to Colombia, her passport is heavily stamped, as is her Instagram feed (here she is in Mexico; keep up with her whereabouts @opalayo).


A skilled orator, Opal narrated BET and Centric TV’s #60DaysofHerstory, in which she told the stories of four women and their important contributions to society.


To remain proactive under the current administration, Opal advises being explicit about what you’re fighting for, and more importantly knowing your rights and learning how to be effective allies.

Opal Tometi Instagram