CANTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Shedding light on important issues, without violence. That was the message dozens of community members in Canton were told is the way to make change happen. Organizers of a Canton protest say, they were surprised at the amount of people that showed up, but say it shows how many are willing to stand up for one another.

Children, parents and grandparents filled the main street quad Tuesday hoping to make a change in their community.

“We need to spread awareness,” said Organizer Cassy Coulter. “We need to stop the hatred, we need to come together as one.”

A peaceful protest with one message, peace and unity, but Miranda Moore says, in order to make that message come true it will take the efforts of the entire community.

“There are a lot of reasons to be angry, but there are a lot of reasons to come together as a community,” she said. “Everyone can come together and everyone has a voice to put a stop to this kind of discrimination. We have to come together as a community to do it, together.”

Many say they hope people walk away with an understanding that the difference between one another is only skin color. Carolyn B. says she hopes the protest served as a spark, igniting a flame that continues to burn until there is no inequality in the community.

“I hope we can move forward with this fire, and with wanting to make change, so that people can look at canton and say ‘Hey, that’s a good place to live,” she said. “That is a good place to raise children, they care about everyone and everyone has a voice there’.”

Many who were in attendance say they hope to have another event like this in the near future.

Coulter wants everyone to know this was not an anti-law enforcement protest, but rather a call to action. Asking and urging each police department to work with their respective community to solve the issues many American’s are facing.