On a stage at Morgan State University on Thursday, nine democratic candidates in the race for Baltimore Mayor engaged in their first debate.
DeRay Mckesson, the activist who is one of the hopefuls looking to replace the current Maryland city Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, spoke on matters of change and empowerment, ABC 2 News reports.
"I know that this city is challenged and the only way that we're going to get through these challenges is if we choose new leadership," he said. "I also know that it takes someone with leadership who can bring all parties together."
Mckesson entered the race as a last-mintue entry and has built his campaign with the slogan "Baltimore: A City of Promise and Possibility."
"If the establishment is who we choose, we know exactly what we're going to get. They are part of the probelm that got us here."
The candidate, 30, sat among other candidates, including Nick Mosby, Calvin Young, David Warnock, Elizabeth Embry, Senator Catherine Pugh, Carl Stokes and former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon.
Primary election day for the state of Maryland is April 26.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.