The death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody is just the latest in a long line of cases fueling the current #BlackLivesMatter protest movement, which beg a coordinated solution.

Earlier this year, Angela Rye, Principal of Impact Strategies, Rev. Lennox Yearwood from the Hip Hop Caucus, and Chanelle Hardy, National Urban League‘s senior vice president for policy, discussed what can be done to end unequal treatment by the U.S. justice system.

Yearwood said in order to save our young men from being killed “at the hands of those that are supposed to protect and serve, our community must look at how we use our institutions to combat the issue.”

It isn’t just simply the issue of coming forth and saying, “OK, let’s deal with this #BlackLivesMatter,” but how do we empower organizations at this point and time in the 21st century, like the Urban League, like the NAACP, like the Black Caucus, but also new entities like #HandsUpDontShoot, like #BlackLivesMatter — which is being run by Black women and young people — like so many interesting organizations that are coming up now to deal with the …crisis that we’re facing.

Rye reminded the group that the focus for #BlackLivesMatter can’t only be on one gender. “It’s just not Black men, it’s also Black women.”

Hardy believes that our community won’t be able to “resolve this issue without really addressing the fact that implicit bias is a fact of life.”

We have stopped the conversation prematurely [by] talking about racism and “are you or are you not racist,” but there is a real important conversation about knowing that you are a biased human being, what are those biases, accepting them and making decisions as a result.

Watch Rye, Yearwood, and Hardy discuss what steps our community must take, in the video clip above.

For more information about the State of Black America Report, visit www.StateOfBlackAmerica.org or use the hashtag #SaveOurCities.

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