RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Protestors gathered in Crabtree Valley Mall Tuesday afternoon were screaming Keith Collins’ name. Collins was killed by a Raleigh police officer earlier this year. Stores shut down as shoppers joined in on the calls for reform.
But what comes next? Many activists are hoping to turn the momentum from marches into votes.
“We’re out in the streets. We’re making our voices heard, but now we need to also make our voices heard when we go and vote,” said Gracie Staser of the Wake County Black Student Coalition.
Tuesday night, Black Voters Matter addressed that during their virtual town hall. The objective was to educate the black community on the legal and political system, including voter suppression, mail-in ballots, cash bail, and more.
“If we vote — and we vote in block and we vote with purpose — we can absolutely transform the way our criminal justice system looks and acts,” said Dawn Blagrove, Executive Director Emancipate NC.
The organization and local activists are hoping to use upcoming elections as their new battleground.
“This is our chance to use our voice and have our voice heard in the election,” said Victoria Smith, who is the president of the Wake County Black Student Coalition.
“We’re moving with the fire of the youth but the wisdom of the elders, and that is how we will lead this revolution,” added Reps founder and executive director Kerwin Pittman.