In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell spoke Monday about the importance of “All Black Lives Matter” with activist Gerald Garth, one of the founders of Black LGBTQ Activists for Change.

Garth said his activism during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis last May 25, was “centered around building visibility around communities that were really underrepresented.”

O’Farrell noted that the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I have a Dream” speech, was organized by a gay man named Bayard Rustin.

“An LGBTQ icon organized that march, openly gay and his sexuality was used against him often throughout his life, even as he helped advance the march for justice,” O’Farrell said. “It’s on the shoulders of people like Bayard Rustin that we all stand, and I hope that can inspire future generations to carry on.”

Garth said that Rustin has been called the architect behind the “I have a Dream” movement.

“He’s been cited as the man behind the dream, and so I recognize that so many great individuals who have been impactful in our work have been underrepresented, under-served, under-recognized, and so I want to encourage other individuals who are committed to the work to recognize that your contribution is valued and valuable,” Garth said.

O’Farrell worked with Garth’s organization last June, ahead of the All Black Lives Matter march on Hollywood Boulevard, which the councilman called “one of the most beautiful experiences of protest and demand for equality that I’ve ever had the pleasure of participating in.”

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