Source: Real News Network

Sherrilyn Ifill’s keynote speech seemed to make the most impact, as later speakers referred to it several times. Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, accentuated the positive. In 20 years’ residence on the west side, she said, community involvement and public life left her with “almost entirely positive” memories. “I am over the constant lamentation of problems in Baltimore,” she said. But segregation, dating to the 1930s (when it was federal mortgage policy) and before, infuses every problem in this city. Ifill asked the crowd to imagine what Freddie Gray’s life would be like had he survived. Even if Gray somehow got a job at Hopkins, how could he get there on the city’s broken public transportation system, she asked. She urged the assembly to work hard to make sure the Baltimore Police Department signs a binding consent decree with the Justice Department before Trump’s inauguration. “That decree has to be with a federal judge before January 19,” she said.