Stevie Wonder spoke directly to Minneapolis youth on Saturday (June 17) about the epidemic of gun violence, an event that came one day after Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted in last summer’s killing of Philando Castile during a traffic stop.
“It is in your hands to stop all the killing and all the shooting wherever it might be. Because you cannot say Black Lives Matter and then kill yourselves. Because you know, we’ve mattered long before it was said,” Wonder told the gathering at the Conference on Peace. “But the way we show all the various of people color matter is by loving each other and doing something about it – not just talking about it.”
About 100 people participated in the conference at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, according to reports.
Civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis was among the speakers on hand addressing street violence between young people. Speakers also reminded parents how large a role they play in guiding their children’s lives.
Part of the solution, they said, includes finding alternatives to street warfare for young people trapped in the cycle of poverty.