Baltimore’s chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby spoke to a packed room in Philadelphia on Sunday addressing delegates at the NAACP’s annual convention.
Mosby burst onto the national scene in May when she charged six Baltimore police officers over the death of Freddie Gray. Gray died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody in April. His death spawned protests, violence and enough looting that the National Guard was called out and a curfew imposed.
In her keynote address to NAACP delegates, she stayed away from that case and instead highlighted inequalities in America’s criminal justice system.
“According to the bureau of justice, one in three black men will go to prison in their lifetime,” she said.
Mosby urged delegates to take action at home.
“To become part of the solution of transforming the state of our communities,” she said, “it begins with you, it begins today.”
Noting that people of color are only 1 percent of elected prosecutors in the country, Mosby also told her audience she was discouraged by her own colleagues when she decided to run for office.
The NAACP convention continues through Wednesday. President Obama is scheduled to address the group Tuesday. Former President Bill Clinton will also speak to the civil rights group.