METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD) – Community were still battling the fight for equality and opening their ears for discussion Wednesday afternoon.
Organizers held a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in the Metamora Square with their message of educating the community.
Dozens came out, a few with Black Lives Matter signs, and listened to people of different ages and races speak about direct and indirect forms of racism.
Grace Salvans and Tori Brinkler, both residents of Germantown Hills, organized the peaceful demonstration. Salvans said she wanted to hold the protest after one of her classmates protested a “Blue Lives Matter” flag in Germantown Hills.
She said the original venue was Germantown Hills but was moved to Metamora once she saw more people expressing interest.
The crowd was made up of a mostly Caucasian audience asking questions and listening to discussions on systemic racism, direct racism, and ways to become allies and help break the cycle within the community.
Speakers for the demonstration included both Salvans and Brinkler, as well as Pierre Paul, a Political Science student at Bradley, and more.
Salvans said as a Hispanic student, she’s experienced racism and wanted people in the community to recognize that racism still exists and learn ways to help stop it when they see it.
“In our community, there is a lot of racism whether it’s direct or indirect and I think a lot of it is based off of ignorance,” Salvans said. “So my hope today was to educate our community on how to be real allies and actually make change rather than just say you want change and do nothing.”
The subject of registering to vote came up with speakers and community members emphasizing the importance of using their votes as their rising voices.
Salvans said voting those in office who advocate for change is one step closer to making it happen.
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