The Next Gen Initiative | WGLT

The Next Gen Initiative

Dominique Stevenson
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

A call for change echoed through the streets of Normal on Wednesday night. For parents, students, and teachers, that change should begin in schools.

Thurston Stevenson is a 28-year-old Bloomington native studying comedy writing and performance at Columbia College in Chicago. The Normal West grad is also in the Army National Guard and a member of the Bloomington-Normal advocacy group The Next Gen Initiative.

Panel discussions, chants for change, and a peaceful march Wednesday evening by the Next Gen Initiative all pointed to the new group's effort to improve community engagement.

Crowds holding signs
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

More than 200 protesters gathered Monday night at Clearwater Park in east Bloomington and marched through nearby neighborhoods to speak out against racism.