05/01/2015 12:31 pm ET Updated May 01, 2016

A Letter to Baltimore

Dear Baltimore,

My heart is very heavy this morning. As I heard more details about the death of Freddie Gray, I must admit that at times the details were hard for me to listen to. I know that we cannot bring Freddie back. However, I know that his family would greatly appreciate peaceful non-violent demonstrations. I know that many of you are feeling angry, hurt and even confused about these startling new revelations. You have a right to feel angry, but I am asking you to channel your anger for change. Use your frustration as a force for transformation in Baltimore and in cities across the nation.

Honestly, I am troubled about the young African American males that are coming behind me. I feel a burden of responsibility to have honest dialogues with them about the challenges they will face in this nation because of their skin color. In addition, I still believe that love is one of the greatest forces for peace in this universe. We cannot become fueled with rage. We must remain focused on resolution. I am concerned about young black males in this country. My heart is troubled at the strained relationship between law enforcement and African Americans in this nation. It is time to have some serious conversations. More importantly, it is time for greater transparency and accountability. I believe that through love, dialogue and understanding we can heal race relations in this nation. However, it will take every human being looking within their hearts and doing some soul searching. I believe that love can break down the biggest walls and unite humanity in a profound way. Violence is not the answer. However, understanding the value of every human being moves us one step forward toward eradicating bigotry and injustice. It is time for healing in America!

Ultimately, I want the people of Baltimore to know that you are loved, you are important and you have been heard. Please know that people all over this nation are praying, standing and rallying for you. I believe that the only way for injustice to prevail is for humanity to remain silent. We cannot afford to be silent at this time. We must shout at the top of our lungs that we demand justice. We must demonstrate peacefully and intelligently that the power of our collective voices can bring about real change. My dream is still the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I dream of the day when a man will be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. America we have reached a tipping point. It is time for change! Let us use our frustration to move this nation forward. We cannot let this moment slip away. Baltimore you have the attention of the world. Use this moment for good. Anything short of freedom is unacceptable!

Written With Love,
Jamelle Sanders