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Activists from around the country gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the first national #BlackLivesMatter conference to address the escalating tensions between the African-American community and local law enforcement agencies.

Angela Peoples, Co-Director of GetEqual joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the weekend conference and how the movement can move forward to achieve long-lasting systemic change.

“One of the great things about this weekend was that is was an opportunity for folks to get together, to be face-to-face, to do some of the grieving and the healing that we know that we need to do but we haven’t been able to process. It’s just been incident after incident after incident of violence to young Black folks, older Black folks. People that we can really see ourselves in.”

“The mantra that #BlackLivesMatter has really galvanized and re-energized a movement of folks across the country that are saying ‘no more’ and we need to not just fight back against the police violence and the over-policing of our communities, but also to push back against the broader areas where institutional racism and anti-Blackness play in all other areas of our society.”

When asked what the next steps of the movement were and how individuals who want to get involved in the movement can participate, Peoples said that there are opportunities around the country that those interested parties can join.

Peoples — along with other activists who have ties in the labor movement, environmental justice movement, reproductive justice movement and the LGBT movement for equality — is challenging African-American organizations, allies of the Black community, elected officials and those running for the nation’s highest office to answer the questions, “What are you doing to show up for these issues, when we talk about #BlackLivesMatter? What does that mean for your and your campaign?’

Watch Roland Martin, Angela Peoples, Co-Director of GetEqual and the NewsOne Now Straight Talk panel discuss this past weekend’s #BlackLivesMatter national conference and what steps the movement should take to force systemic change in America.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


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