CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Teens organized and led hundreds of protesters Saturday afternoon.
A group called ‘Paign to Peace’ organized the protest. It consists of youth from the Champaign-Urbana community.
People started at Hessel Park and marched 7.5 miles across Champaign, stopping at a dozen intersections to educate the community on racial inequality and police brutality.
“This wasn’t just a march. We weren’t just chanting and playing music. We were teaching,” said ‘Paign to Peace’ founder Naomi DuPree. “We really wanted people to leave our protest today with things that they didn’t know before.”
18-year-old DuPree graduated from Champaign Central High School in May.
“This [turnout] is just beautiful. It’s amazing. I think after this, people will really start seeing and believing in change,” she said.
DuPree’s initiative inspired people of all ages to stand up and stand against systematic racism.
“If people actually acknowledge the fact that there is such thing as white privilege…then we can make a change,” said 17-year-old protester Alyssa Pankau. “I have acknowledged that I do have privilege, and that I need to stand up for the people in my life because if I don’t, I’m just part of the problem.”