Black Lives Matter has been recognized by the International Peace Bureau’s (IPB) Steering Committee for the movement’s dedication and work to create a world where Black lives can thrive. On the second day of the World Peace Congress in Barcelona, Rev. Karlene Griffiths Sekou, community minister, scholar and activist and Director of Healing Justice and International Organizing, received the award in the representation of the social movement.

“Black liberation and complete freedom has always been our vision at Black Lives Matter. Our movement is not one moment in time — it’s a constant reminder to eradicate white supremacy, upend racist policies and topple oppressive systems. At its core, our movement also works to envision and create space that centers Black art, culture, and joy. I am reminded by the words of Black scholar Ruthie Gilmore who noted that abolition is presence, not absence, and it’s about building life-affirming institutions that allow all of us to thrive”, she said.

“Since its founding eight years ago, BLM has remained rooted in its community leaders, local advocates, and young activists. They are the ones that marched the streets, uplifted individuals and families impacted by unjust policies, and tirelessly advocated to make sure our voices are heard in the Halls of Congress. Our movement continues because our young and local leaders have and continue to lead our movement together in struggle and unceasingly. We know the world is watching us. We thank the International Peace Bureau for recognizing us, and thank the community leaders, local activists, and the ancestors, who fuel the unrelenting will of our movement and inspire us to reimagine a world for our children and for future Black generations to come”, she added.

Every year the IPB awards the Sean MacBride Peace Prize to a person or organization that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights.