Black Lives Matter Co-founder Patrisse Cullors in Asheville, Friday, January 19

Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. On Friday, January 19, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors will be in conversation with Warren Wilson Professor Rima Vesely-Flad, author of Racial Purity and Dangerous Bodies: Moral Pollution, Black Lives, and the Struggle for Justice.

Patrisse Cullors turned the #blacklivesmatter hashtag into a movement and global network that has empowered young African-Americans, and created a necessary dialogue about race in America.  Cullor’s new book “WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST: A Black Lives Matter Memoir,” is a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Cullor’s writes a necessary and timely dialogue on on her experiences as an African America activist. Co-written with award-winning author and journalist asha bandele, it asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love.

WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST takes an intimate look at Cullors time growing up in Van Nuys, California, surrounded by a devoted family and supportive friends, and weaves her experiences into the larger picture of how predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods are under constant systemic attack. From an unrelenting and hostile police presence, to disproportionate punitive action, to lack of basic social and medical services, Cullors and bandele show how lack of personal security and dignity makes daily life an act of survival.

PATRISSE CULLORS is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and an NAACP History Maker. In 2016, Patrisse received the Defender of the Dream Award from the AFL-CIO Executive Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights, the Revolution Award for Freedom from ImageNation Cinema Foundation, the Justice Award from National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Community Change Agent Award from BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., and the Glamour Women of the Year Award for The Justice Seekers. In 2017, Cullors received the Sydney Peace Prize.

Rima L. Vesely-Flad is professor and chair of religious studies and director of peace and justice studies at Warren Wilson College. She holds a Ph.D. in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary and was the founder of Interfaith Coalition of Advocates for Reentry and Employment (ICARE) in New York State.

At the center of contemporary struggles over-aggressive policing practices is an assumed association, in U.S. culture, of blackness with criminality. In her book, RACIAL PURITY AND DANGEROUS BODIES: Moral Pollution, Black Lives, and the Struggle for Justice, Rima L. Vesely-Flad examines the religious and philosophical constructs of the black body in U.S. society, examining racialized ideas about purity and pollution as they have developed historically and as they are institutionalized today in racially disproportionate policing and mass incarceration.

Event Information
Event date:
Friday, January 19, 2018 – 6:00pm
Event address:
Rainbow Community School Event Space
60 State Street, Asheville

Purchase tickets ($10, applicable toward purchase of book)


A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele

St. Martin’s Press



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