Black Lives Matter | Voices of Hope and Change

These 21st century heroes are moving America forward in racial justice and equality.

Darnella Frazier has helped to create a revolution around the nation and the world with her heroic filming of the tragic murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. She stood her ground and used her cell phone to record the horrific moments that led to his death at the hands of an officer. She then posted the recording onto social media and her video fueled a sense of urgency and outrage across the USA. Protests and support for Black Lives Matter became a nationwide movement.  In June of 2021 Darnella Frazer was honored with a special award from the Pulitzer Prize Foundation. Here is a link to the NPR coverage of this award.


Activists for Racial Justice
Credit: MY HERO

"To understand why, amid a global health crisis, Black People in America are taking to the streets to protest racism, another disease that cavalierly kills Young Black Boys and Young Black Girls, you must first understand the history of Black People in this country. A history that is as long as the Mississippi River—the artery of America’s slave trade. In 1776, America was founded on the idea that “All Men are Created Equal.” But Blacks were not included—for they were slaves, not men. It was not until 1865 that America outlawed slavery with the 13th Amendment. That was almost 155 years ago.

"If America is serious about race relations, she must first understand that there is no difference between the treatment of Blacks 150 years ago and the treatments of Blacks today. Today, thanks to cellphones and social media creating citizen journalists, we see the horrors that Blacks face every day. People are outraged at the sheer disregard for Black lives, but this isn’t new. America's disregard for Black lives has existed for as long as she has existed. It’s time for America to have an honest conversation with her past. Only then can we truly take another step towards equality."

Mohamed Sidibay
J.D. Graduate 2021
UNESCO Advisor
Global Partnership for Education -Advisor
MY HERO - Global Outreach

Mohamed Sidibay - Teaching Peace Video

Mohamed Sidibay: Teaching Peace- video

Trey Carlisle won the Emerging Artist Award at MY HERO's International Film Festival in 2016 for his film Us and Us... about genocide in Cambodia. 

His spoken word piece below encourages every one of us to stand up for equality and social justice. 

History will be Repeated

Produced by:Trey Carlisle

Watch filmmaker/spoken word artist Trey Carlisle's electrifying performance of his original poem promoting tolerance.

Featured Hero | Bryan Stevenson


Trey Carlisle (above) writes about his hero, Attorney Bryan Stevenson (below). Stevenson leads the nation toward prison reform and racial equality through representing people of color who have received unjust treatment in the U.S. criminal justice system. 


The film on right discusses the Equal Justice Initiative, which has won relief for hundreds of wrongfully convicted people, successfully argued before the Supreme Court to end life-without-parole sentences for children, challenged excessive sentencing, and more. 


Bryan Stevenson

By: Arthur (Trey) Carlisle
Bryan Stevenson has been recognized across the globe for the work that he has done to address poverty and racial inequality.

The Equal Justice Initiative

Gabriel Diamond
Bryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative litigate cases for the unjustly imprisoned and work to reform the justice system.

Featured Hero | John Lewis


John Lewis is a U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader in Georgia who has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The following story and films highlight his important work.


John Lewis

By: Kathy Crockett <br>My Hero
John Lewis has worked for civil rights for all for over 40 years.


Produced by:Anson Schloat and John G. Young

A film about John Lewis on citizenship and character: "To be a good citizen is to obey the rules...the laws. Unless those laws conflict with your conscience."

Get in the Way [Trailer]

Produced by:Dir. Kathleen Dowdey

In 1965, the historic Selma March known as Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. As a student, John Lewis co-led hundreds of peaceful marchers seeking voting rights for African Americans in the South.

Featured Hero | Ron Dellums

This hero story about Ron Dellums is written by his daughter, Piper Dellums. Dellums was the Mayor of Oakland and served thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ronald V. Dellums (1935 - 2018)

By: Piper Dellums from Idyllwild
Ronald V. Dellums is a former U.S. Congressman who fought against apartheid in South Africa.

Young Heroes

Gabrielle Gorman is a Television and Film major at UCLA. She made the following films as a high school student and is known for her poetic approach.

Gabrielle was a student honoree at the 2016 MY HERO International Film Festival for her film Dear America. The film was made in response to the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri. 

In 2014, she was a finalist for her film Bombingham. It honors the three young girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, by the KKK in 1963.

DEAR AMERICA - student honoree

Produced by:Gabrielle Gorman
An exploration of what it means to be a Black American.


Produced by:Gabrielle Gorman

An expressionistic account of the bombing of the 17th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Heather Heyer

By: Rachel Parsons
Heather Heyer was a young civil rights activist who was killed by a white supremacist at a white supremacist rally. She was an everyday hero: a normal person who did what she could to educate others by her own example.

Amandla Stenberg

By: Cynthia Wang

Amandla Stenberg, a mixed race actress, is committed to only playing strong characters. She is also passionate about passing over roles that she feels should be reserved for darker-skinned actresses, in her quest to thwart colorism.

Words Have Power

Produced by:Lynne Cherry

10-year-old Jaysa speaks out against the asthma-inducing power plants in her town, citing environmental racism. Her words help get the last power plant shut down. 

More Heroes in Story and Film

Barack Hussein Obama II

By: Karam Alshaikh
Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor and US Senator, who became the first African American elected as President of the United States. He guided the US back from the 2008 recession, and signed many landmark bills into law.

Blood and Soil Excerpt

Sandi Bachom
Special Hero Sandi Bachom covered the events that took place in Charlottesville. Sandi is a Special Hero recipient at the 2017 MY HERO Film Festival.


George Floyd
Breonna Taylor
Credit: Giselle Villatoro

Protect Kids Not Guns by Micah Bazant/ Amplifier

By: Micah Bazant
Protest Art created for March for Our Lives sponsored by The Amplifier Foundation

Barack Obama- Martin Luther King Jr. by Ben Heine

By: Ben Heine from Belgium

Ben Heine pays homage to great African-American civil rights heroes Martin Luther King and Barack Obama.

Celebrating We the Future-Amanda Gorman by Kate Deciccio

By: Kate Deciccio

Amanda Gorman was named the 2015 National Youth Poet Laureate. She is a community leader and a public speaker. 

Never Again by Chanelle Librada Reyes /Amplifier

By: Chanelle Librada-Reyes
In partnership with Adobe Project 1324, Amplifier hosted an open call for youth art to be carried through the streets for march for our lives.

Tyra Hemans by Mariam Tehari, Boys&Girls Club LB

By: Mariam Tehari
Tyra Hemans, advocate for The March For Our Lives

Act! Fear Has No Place by Koy Suntichotinun

By: Koy Suntichotinun
Protest art created for the March for Our LIves sponsored by the Amplifier Foundation

Robert Shetterly - Americans Who Tell the Truth series

Shirley Chisholm by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly
"Prejudice and hatred built the nation’s slums, maintains them and profits by them…. we are exposed as hypocrites when we talk about making people free."

Lateefah Simon by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly

Working for incarcerated youth, Lateefah Simon is a hero for children's rights and rehabilitation.

John Lewis by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly
Civil Rights hero John Lewis as painted by Robert Shetterly

Recommended Reading

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

By: Bryan Stevenson

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By: Michelle Alexander

More MY HERO Showcases

Musicians and The Civil Rights Movement

By: Stuart Pearlman
by Justin Binder

Related Pages

Organizer created on 5/30/2020 9:08:49 PM by Shannon Luders-Manuel

Last edited 6/14/2021 1:58:01 PM by Jeanne Meyers