NEWARK, N.J. — It's a club that they never wanted to be part of, but on Sunday night, the "Mothers of the Movement" were recognized for their commitment to social justice.
The Mothers of the Movement is a group of women who’ve lost sons and daughters to police brutality and gun violence. On Sunday night, the group received the Community Change Agent Award during BET's "Black Girls Rock" ceremony. Among them was Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, who knows the effects of gun violence all-too-personally.
McBath's own son Jordan was gunned down in Florida when a man named Michael Dunn shot into the SUV he was sitting in with friends at a Florida gas station. They were parked at a gas station and Dunn complained that their music was too loud. He was convicted of premeditated murder.
McBath, appeared on stage alongside several other women in the group, including Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women's March; Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, mother of murdered Chicago 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton; Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton; Eric Garner's mother Gwen Carr; and Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, shot to death by a Milwaukee Police officer in 2014.
Sybrina Fulton gave the acceptance speech, dedicating the award to all the Mothers of the Movement who may never receive notoriety.
"This award is for all mothers of the moment and women whose names we'll never know," she said. "All who have lost a child to gun violence or confrontations with the police."
Fulton continued, imploring action to prevent future tragedies - like the one that took her son away - from happening.
While she didn't speak Sunday, McBath has been a vocal advocate for gun reform measures, including background checks and others that could prevent weapons from getting into the wrong hands.
"We know all to well that all lives have not matter. This tells us very powerfully that we must change. We cant ignore this. We can't wish this away," she said. "Each of us has a responsibility to stand up and fight for racial equality in America."
"We must stand up for justice. We must stand up for truth," she concluded."
You can listen to their full acceptance speech online.