On Tuesday evening, the Mothers of the Movement—mothers of black Americans whose deaths have sparked nationwide protests—came out to a standing ovation and sustained chants of “Black lives matter,” at the Democratic National Convention.

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Geneva Reed-Vead, Sandra Bland’s mother, began: “I am here with Hillary Clinton tonight because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names. She knows that when a young black life is cut short, its not just a loss—its a personal loss, its a national loss, its a loss that diminishes all of us...What a blessing tonight to be standing here so that Sandy can still speak through her momma.”

“I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this,” said Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother. “I did not want this spotlight. But I will do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness.”

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Other women on stage included Michael Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden, Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, Jordan Davis’ mother Lucia McBath, Dontré Hamilton’s mother Maria Hamilton, and Hadiya Pendleton’s mother Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley.