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Welcome Jasmine Rice LaBeija to the stage

One key #BlackLivesMatter organizer on disrupting politics and finding power outside the system

Ashley Yates, also known as Brown Blaze, is an organizer for the Black Lives Matter movement, which began shortly after the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This election year, the movement is demanding an end to “politics as usual.”

“To say that black lives matter and mean it is to go beyond criminal justice reform,” she says. “We need education reform, we need food, we need housing. We definitely need to end the school-to-prison pipeline.”

Here’s how Yates is getting that message across to the candidates and building power, all while subverting the system.


Fusion is profiling 30 women, all 30 or younger, who will change the presidential election—fighting for causes as diverse as their backgrounds, each wielding power in a unique way. You can check out their stories here and talk about them with the hashtag #the30.

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