During his acceptance speech for the evening’s President's Award, Legend said that he is hopeful today’s generation will evoke change to the inequalities of America’s justice system.
“Today, communities of color are still being crushed by a criminal justice system that over-polices us, over-arrests us, over-incarcerates us, and disproportionately takes the lives of our young people because of the simple fact that our skin conjures the image of threat and violence,” he said.
“Despite the daunting problems we face I am hopeful that our generation will demand and achieve radical change in our lifetime.”
The Oscar Award-winner went on to encourage his peers in attendance to use their influence to support today’s social movements.
“Our predecessors marched, they wrote songs, they met with political leaders, they provided financial support,” he said. “Now, some will call you divisive for speaking out for a disenfranchised people. Some will call you a radical for calling for justice for all. Some will take offense when we have to assert that our lives should indeed matter, just as much as anyone else’s. Some will call you the real racist for daring to call out racial inequality. But they know better. And we certainly know better. We know that fighting for justice isn’t an act of hate, it’s an act of love.”
Check out John Legend’s empowering speech in its entirety in the clip above.
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