URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Almost 60 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech.” People across the world are honoring that message for MLK day.
HV Neighborhood Transformation organized the march. They said Doctor King inspired them to walk with one another to try and end violence, but they told me while they are highlighting this mission today, it’s something they have to continue doing throughout the year.
“He had a dream that he wanted to end racism,” Jobie Taylor, march organizer, said. “He wanted equal rights for everybody and we still support that and it’s still needed, but it’s a bigger dream now, with a lot of the gun violence that’s been plaguing our communities lately.”
As people all across the nation honor Doctor Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and remember what he stood for, people right here in Central Illinois are using this day as a way to also send a similar message.
“That’s our focus right now is to see what we can do in combatting this gun violence that’s taking away a lot of our young people right now,” Taylor said.
People of all ages, races and backgrounds came together to march. They want to end violence in their community. Jobie Taylor, with HV Neighborhood Transformation and the YouthBuild Program, says people need to help young people.
“They lost their friends too,” Taylor said. “They lost some of their friends and family members to this gun violence and they want to do something to make a change also.”
Those apart of the YouthBuild program, like Ranyjah Turner, agree.
“People shooting and killing each other or people can’t even be comfortable in their own homes or work their own jobs without having a fear of violence, whether it’s gun violence or just violence period,” Ranyjah Turner said.
Turner says MLK stood up by himself making his voice heard and says sometimes that’s all it takes to make a difference.
“All it takes is just one person to influence somebody or touch the heart of somebody else to be able to come together for something like this,” Turner said.
“So you know they have a saying that its going to take a village to raise a child,” Taylor said. “We need the village now.”
The group started at Crestview Park and walked throughout neighborhoods in Urbana. They had speakers and ended the walk just talking with one another while drinking hot chocolate.