We primarily work with the western slope and our activities include all members of the community.
Jon Williams - Co Founder founded our local Black Lives Matter Grand Junction chapter in 2016. He has many more reasons than the fact he is black for wanting to start this chapter. Jon wants to change the world for the next generation. He wants to see an end to racism within his lifetime. He believes ending systemic racism IS POSSIBLE and feels #BLMGJ is his outlet to achieve this goal. He brings leadership, dedication and passion for social issues. It can sometimes be dangerous to participate in a racial empowerment group, but Jon feels it's necessary if equality is going to ever truly happen.
Emmanuel Cisneros - Political Awareness Coordinator moved to Grand Junction in 2013, and has actively been involved in a variety of community organizations that seek to create change in Mesa County and make this community more open and welcome to people in marginalized communities. Since Black Lives Matter’s first meeting in 2016, Manny has been a proud member, and was incredibly honored to be offered the role of the Political Awareness Coordinator in 2017. Inspired by the chance to be a part of a movement that is challenging systemic racism on such a radical level, Manny was eager to contribute his skills to change the narrative in a society that finds the very prospect of acknowledging the inherent value of the lives of people of color something controversial.
Samantha Harris - Outreach Coordinator joined Black Lives Matter because she's tired of watching parents grieve over their children lost to police brutality. She believes that it's painful and invalidating to be asked to sing about a land that's free when her brothers and sisters are being murdered. She also believes that it needs to be said with conviction, that black lives do indeed matter because this nation has never stopped giving black people and other minorities the message that they don't. She believes that racism is a mental illness, but that it's treatable with education, dialogue, active listening on the part of those not oppressed, and a desire to explore what it means to have empathy for someone else.
Jennifer Vargas - Education Coordinator is mother to three amazing children. She has lived in Grand Junction, CO for a little more than 3 years now, moving from St. George, UT. She decided to be a part of Black Lives Matter because she would hate to see her children going through the same unfortunate incidents of racism that she endured as a child. She decided it was her responsibility to do what she could to promote awareness, which she feels is the beginning of the process in ending (or at least decreasing) racial issues and incidents in Grand Junction. She feels it is also painful and frustrating to see how people of color are being handled by police across that nation. She fears it could be her child one day in that horrible position that has lead to the deaths of black men and women. She feels empowered to take a stand against the injustices minorities have been facing and only hopes her love, strength, and sacrifice has the power to make a change.
Sierra Garcia joined Black Lives Matter because the fact that it has been normalized to POC to teach their children how to avoid being shot by a police officer is atrocious. The fact that people of color are dying and facing so many inequalities is frightening, this world is deteriorating and racists are empowered. We need to be just as empowered and the only people who can put systemic racism to an end are white people and being a white person she knows it is her responsibility to step up.