EUGENE, Ore. – Hundreds gathered outside Autzen Stadium Monday, gearing up for a march along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to honor the civil rights leader for which the street is named.
Before the march, community leaders addressed a large crowd and called for continued action towards justice and equality.
Among those in the audience was State Sen. James Manning, who said King preached a message of unity.
"We're in a world now where there's so much division and it's good to have a day where everybody in the community, whoever you are, can come out and say we are one,” Manning said.
Ginny Hoke also attended the rally with her family.
“I am the white parent of a black kid, so I care a lot about issues around justice and injustice,” Hoke said. “We need more representation for our kids of color in this community and we need to work to be anti-racist in this society.”
Anu Richardson, whose father is the executive director of the Eugene Springfield NAACP chapter, said he wants to see more young people turn out for events like these.
"Where change really starts is with our youth... if we don't get started now, then how are we going to get in offices and what not,” Richardson said.
Richardson said he was inspired by King's ability to connect with people of all backgrounds.
"If you have a message you want to get across, then you can get it across no matter what they look like or who they are," Richardson said.