Alicia Garza, one of the founders of Black LIves Matter, will be the guest of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) at President Obama's last State of the Union address on Tuesday. Garza is a constituent of Rep. Lee's. The Congresswoman is active on issues of poverty, civil rights and education.
"Looking forward to welcoming #BlackLivesMatter co-creator, @aliciagarza, as my #SOTU guest. She's a powerful voice for justice and reform," tweeted Rep. Lee on Friday.
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi began the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin.
There will be other interesting guests in the visitors galleries on the night of the State of the Union. First lady Michelle Obama will have an empty seat next to her as a statement on gun violence.
Over the weekend a White House official told NBCBLK on background that President Obama's final State of the Union will "represent the progress we have made since the President first delivered this speech seven years ago - from the brink of a second Great Depression and two costly wars to an economy that is growing and renewed American leadership abroad."
The President's box will include people he met in 2007 and 2008 while running for office. Two of the President's guests who will be seated in the First Lady's box will be Edith Childs and Earl Smith. Childs is a Greenwood County, South Carolina Councilmember who is famous for the Obama campaign chant "Fired up! Ready to go!"
Smith is a Vietnam veteran who met President Obama in a hotel elevator in 2008 and gave the then-Senator a military patch he had worn serving with an artillery brigade in Vietnam.
The President's guests will "personify President Obama's time in office."