The Black Lives Matter movement received the Sydney Peace Prize for its work in calling attention to race and social inequities in America on Thursday, NBC reports.
Movement leaders Patrisse Cullors, Rodney Diverlus and Dawn Modkins accepted the award as citizens of Sydney, Australia, cheered and chanted, “Black Lives they matter here.”
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains,” Cullors, a co-founder of the group said after receiving the award via live stream.
According to a statement sent to NBC by the Sydney Peace Foundation, the group earned the prize “for building a powerful movement for racial equality, courageously reigniting a global conversation around state violence and racism.”
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While the prize has been bestowed upon individuals like South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, this marks the first time the foundation had awarded an organization with the achievement.
“So many have been fighting the legacy of colonialism and they’ve been waiting for the revival of a mass Black liberation movement in the U.S. to join in,” Opal Tometi, the group’s co-founder told the news outlet. “Honestly, the work is necessary and far too many lives have been cut short due to injustice and impunity.”
Tometi also said that what’s happening in the country isn’t just limited to the United States.
“Sadly these realities also reflect the lives of Black immigrants and refugees who live in Australia,” she said.
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