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There are over two dozen major cities in America that will have mayoral elections in 2015. Three states will have gubernatorial elections and there are huge implications for who will be selected as police chiefs in many of these cities. Will the protests taking place across the nation impact the upcoming political contests or will this current movement fizzle?

NewsOne Now” guest host Jeff Johnson and the Straight Talk panel discuss what impact, if any, the protests against police brutality, excessive force and misconduct will have on the political make up of local police departments.

Chanelle Hardy, Executive Director of the National Urban League’s Washington Bureau told Johnson, “There is tremendous potential, certainly, I don’t see any signs that the protesters are about to lose energy.”

Hardy added, “All of the folks that engage in politics and civil engagement and voter outreach for a living to really connect the dots for folks and make it simple. Here is who is up for election in your community, next to the issues that we’re talking about, and let’s channel that energy as the time approaches to make sure you get the type of showing that we need.”

She continued, “The protests has to be part of a conversation that starts to be about how we’re going to hold people accountable for their response to this.”

Guest host Jeff Johnson and “NewsOne Now” look at how millennials in the #BlackLivesMatter, #ICantBreathe and #HandsUpDontShoot movements are using social media to let their voices be heard around the nation. Can the call for change eventually effect policy change?

Dante Barry, Director of, Danielle Belton, Paris Dennard and Chanelle Hardy joined Johnson on “NewsOne Now” to discuss.

Barry told Johnson how people in Ferguson started using social media to their advantage saying people were “using social media in order to tell what’s happening in Ferguson, on the ground in a real-time situation.”

When Johnson asked how do we connect the organic grassroots protesters who were organizing and essentially reporting from Ferguson with the “hardcore movement pieces without telling people and directing people in ways they don’t want to go.”

Barry explained that this is where you see “local-to-local connections” being formed between grassroots organizations on the ground.

“It’s really important when we have an organized front because that builds power, but also you are able to bring more people into the arena who have very similar agendas and very similar ideas on the line.”

On Monday, television and radio personality Cortney Hicks stopped by the “NewsOne Now” studios to share her weight loss journey. As a teenager, Hicks tipped the scale at 365 lbs. Over the course of 20 years she has lost a total of 200 lbs.

“It’s been a battle over 20 years and I’ve finally won,” said Hicks.

Hicks initially started her weight loss journey at age 18 with bariatric surgery before going into her senior year. She credited her mother, Charlotte, with being “inventive enough back then to find this new type of invasive surgery that was really on the cusp” in the summer of 1988.

Even after the surgery, Hicks explained she battled with her weight after losing 100 lbs. She jumped from 240 to 278 lbs. and she linked “eating with emotions.” She also said the “big trigger” was when her father passed away suddenly at 52 years of age from diabetes.

Hicks offered words of encouragement for those who are struggling with their weight and may be looking at bariatric surgery as a solution saying, “If you follow protocol, if you do what they say to do, now that this bariatric thing is a lot more sophisticated, you will and should succeed.”

Hicks has now turned to the “old fashion way” of weight loss, dropping weight pound by pound through exercise. She says the key is to “check in on the inside and whatever life struggles are showing up in whatever area of your life … identify that…because that is the only way you are going to be convicted and stick with the follow through to yield the results you’re going to need or want to see.”


All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.

NewsOne Now Podcast: Will #BlackLivesMatter Protests & Social Media Activism Force Policymakers Into Action?  was originally published on