Meet Firestarter Viola Liuzzo


Meet Firestarter Viola Liuzzo. She was a wife and mother of five who left her family in Detroit to drive to Alabama to march with Martin Luther King Jr. Viola was helping to shuttle Black demonstrators between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, when she was shot to death in her car by a member of the KKK on March 26, 1965. Viola was the only white woman to be killed in the civil rights movement.


What’s a Firestarter? To me, it’s any woman creating a commotion by disrupting things and starting things. Women who are fearless in standing up for themselves or others. Women who are provocative and innovative. They harness their power to help others, and they seek out ways to encourage other women to stand up or speak out.

In the last decade, while leading Moms Demand Action, I began using the word “Firestarters” to describe the amazing women in the world who inspire me, and I think it’s a phrase we all should add to our vocabulary. Tell me about the Firestarters who inspire you in the comments and I’ll profile them in future posts.

Shannon Watts