Alicia Garza, alongside Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, was inspired to create the Black Lives Matter slogan after going onto social media and responding to the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Alicia posted her sentiments on Facebook using her slogan Black Lives Matters, when community organizer Tometi placed a hashtag before the slogan, and #BlackLivesMatter was born. All three founders were then members of Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD).
She has denounced corporate and mainstream appropriations and adaptations of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and slogan which she believes ignore or contradict the spirit and philosophy behind it, including the "Our Lives Matter" iteration. She has written: "#BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean your life isn’t important–it means that Black lives, which are seen as without value within White supremacy, are important to your liberation." She also writes: “When I use Assata’s powerful demand in my organizing work, I always begin by sharing where it comes from, sharing about Assata’s significance to the Black Liberation Movement, what it’s political purpose and message is, and why it’s important in our context." The reference to Assata is a reference to Assata Shakur (see Black Liberation Army), otherwise known as Joanne Deborah Chesimard, a radical feminist and Marxist revolutionary who escaped from prison in 1979 while serving a life sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. Shakur is on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list, and is reportedly hiding in Cuba.