EUGENE, Ore. — Betsy Steffensen is a mother of six and grandmother of 12, but this day is about spreading peace throughout Lane County.
“I really feel that the world is a small place sometimes and we all need to really look at each other and listen to each other. It is a skill that is sort of lost in America sometimes,” said Steffensen.
Steffensen is one of hundreds of activists that feel the same way. The crowd took their message to the Eugene Public Library.
The event comes just after a group of Springfield residents–some of them students–allegedly shouted racial slurs and even tried to run over an black teen with their truck last week.
“It is an opportunity for local businesses, organizations and general community members to take a stand against hate and hate crimes,” said Remie Calalang of the CALC Board.
Mayor Kitty Piercy showed up to support the event and says everyone must work together to stop hate.
“It takes everyday people just like you and me. It takes all of us to speak up against hate speech and be allies to people who are experiencing hate coming their direction,” Piercy said.
The campaign is led by the Community Alliance of Lane County, Back to Back and Allies for Human Dignity.