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T. Marie King: The Change Agent

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T. Marie King outside the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. (Marvin Gentry, For The Birmingham Times)

By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

A closer look at a Birmingham-area activist:
T. Marie King, Local Facilitator
King, 40,  has been working tirelessly on a broad range of efforts, including hosting workshops on bias and empathy to push groups and organizations to move toward change.
“My [efforts] are centered around working with people and organizations to help them understand their own personal biases and have more awareness of how they [may be] contributing to what is taking place in society,” she said. “[I’ve been] working with them to be more empathetic toward other people, working with them on how they engage with communities of color.”
King, who hosts seminars on the local, state, and national levels, has worked with groups as diverse as the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Dance Foundation, the Levite Jewish Community Center, the Alabama State Council of the Arts, and the Birmingham Police Department.
“I push organizations to really look at what equity looks like and [see] how to get innovative and creative with pulling in different communities,” she said. “Before they pull in different folks from marginalized or disenfranchised communities, though, we have to make sure they have the right culture so those folks can succeed. We want people to get involved and want people of all races to fight for change, but a lot of times people’s lenses are blocking them from doing the work that needs to be done.”
King said she wants groups to look inward.
“I really wanted to focus my work [on those] who have the most power in our society to get them to look at themselves, do the internal work they need to do so we can change society, change how our communities look, change laws, change how organizations are run.”

To read more stories about local activists and Part I of the Black Lives Matter series, click one of the links below.

Onoyemi Williams: The Peacemaker

Erica Robbins: The Advocate

DeJuana Thompson: The Organizer

Martez Files: The Influencer

BLM Birmingham Member Looking To Build Statewide Chapters

‘Know Justice, Know Peace’: BLM’s Fight Against Racial Injustice from Birmingham

Eric Hall, Co-Founder of Local BLM, Patterns Activism After Mom’s Work Ethic