Peoria rallies with nation for Trayvon Martin

By WEEK Producer

July 20, 2013 Updated Jul 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria now joins New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Cities connected by the life and death of a teenager, Trayvon Martin.

Peorian and Reverend Rose Booker-Jones said "We're standing in Peoria, with our voices lifted, letting not only the community, but the world know, that we believe justice should be given to everyone."

Hundreds of protests took place across the nation Saturday, all proclaiming the same thing- a desire for peace and equality despite race or age.

President Obama made a similar statement on Friday, "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

The President of the Peoria National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says progress towards equality has been made, but we're not there yet.

"This is about the youth," said Donald R. Jackson. "It's certainly that generation that we fear for."

Trayvon Martin's mother made an appearance at the New York City rally, committing to be a part of the solution. "Not only do I vow to you to do what I can for Trayvon Martin." She continued, "I promise you I'm going to work hard for your children as well, because it's important."

Local community leaders are also taking a stand. In a statement, Pastor Harvey Burnett said "We feel we must continue to address these stereotypical attitudes... As we seek to build a better, stronger, more vibrant community."

His voice rings out with the hundreds of other voices gaining volume on the issue, both nationally and locally.