"Protecting all of God's children is America's calling," Hillary Clinton declared on Sunday, as she addressed a black-majority church in Charlotte.
Clinton was speaking less than two weeks after violent protests broke out in the city following the police shooting of a black man.
Speaking to the congregation of Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, the Democratic presidential nominee said: "It's been a hard year, hasn't it?"
"Think about how many times President Obama has had to console our nation about another senseless tragedy, another shattered family, another distressed community, and our children are watching and they feel it too," Clinton said.
"Protecting all of God's children is America's calling... Our entire country should take a moment to really look at what's going on here and across America, to imagine what we see on the news and what we hear about, imagine it through our children's eyes."
Clinton, who has made gun law reform central to her campaign, offered her prayers to the loved ones of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot by police in Charlotte on September 20, and to all those who had lost family and friends as a result of gun violence.
"We do more than pray," she added. "Not everyone can march, but everyone can talk. And everyone can reach out. And everyone can vote."
"Every child deserves the same sense of security... [and] the same hope" Clinton said. She refrained from mentioning rival Donald Trump by name, but did suggest that his "law and order" approach to the racial tensions in America weren't good enough.
"There are some out there who see this as a moment to fan the flames of resentment and division, who want to exploit people's fears, even though it means tearing our nation even further apart," Clinton said.
"They say that all of our problems would be solved simply by more law and order, as if the systemic racism plaguing our country doesn't exist."
Clinton opened her address with Psalm 119:24: "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
She also invited nine-year-old Zianna Oliphant to join her at the pulpit.
Oliphant earlier last week made an emotional speech before the Charlotte City Council last week about the way that African Americans are treated in America.
"I feel like that we are treated differently than other people. I don't like how we're treated. Just because of our colour doesn't mean anything to me," Oliphant said.
"We are black people, and we shouldn't have to feel like this. We shouldn't have to protest because y'all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights."
"We can call for reform to policing while still appreciating the many courageous and admirable officers out there who are doing their jobs with honor and integrity," Clinton added in her address, noting that gun violence is "by far the leading cause of death for young black men".
"We have to fight for common sense reforms to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our communities," she said.