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During Friday evening’s broadcast of the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards on TV One, Roslyn M. BrockChairman of the National Board of Directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will present NAACP Chairman’s Awards to several individuals and groups for their work on social justice.

One of the groups being honored with a NAACP Chairman’s Award was founded in 2005 by Harry Belafonte, has established itself as a leader in the movement, and most notably recognized for leading the March 2 Justice, a 250-mile, nine-day journey to deliver a Justice Package to Congress.

The legislative initiatives delivered to Capitol Hill were composed of “criminal justice reform legislation that will end racial profiling, demilitarize our police forces, and invest in our communities.”

The Justice League NYC’s work in mobilizing the community to impact change resulted in the organization achieving national recognition for keeping the pressure on government officials and for the gains they have helped communities of color make over the past few years.

On Thursday, NewsOne Now host Roland Martin spoke with Tamika Mallory, Board Member of The Gathering for Justice, Carmen Perez, Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice, and Mysonne Linen, Gathering for Justice member, about being selected to receive the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award, the social justice movement, police accountability, criminal justice reform, and mass incarceration.

When asked about the dialogue currently being had regarding police accountability and reform, Mallory, a regular panelist on TV One’s NewsOne Now, said, “When we’ve had the conversation in the past, certainly it has not been the type of pressure that you see being applied right now from so many young people who are engaged.” 

“It is really a critical moment in the movement, carrying some of the traditions of the past, but taking on a new fire, a new energy, being unapologetic about it, and to be honored by the NAACP — especially looking at young people who are outside of the organization — is truly a pleasure and an honor for us,” Mallory said.

In discussing change and the time it takes to modify how a society corrects social and cultural transgressions, Carmen Perez said, “These institutions that we’re fighting against have been around for decades, for centuries.”

“I come from Santa Cruz County, where we were number one in the nation for restorative justice and a lot of the change came about for fifteen years. It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t get here overnight, so it’s going to take a long-term sustainability and it’s going to take a movement and right now, we’re in that moment where we’re actually seeing results,” said Perez.

Watch Roland Martin and members of the Justice League NYC discuss the movement for social justice and being named recipients of the NAACP Chairman’s Award in the video clip above.

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