Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Youngstown on Sunday to protest police brutality. 18-year-old Sonya Lenoir organized a peace march that was one of multiple gatherings that took place.

Lenoir decided to plan a peaceful rally after seeing the graphic video of George Floyd being killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer. 


"I needed to bring something positive in so people can know that we're sticking together and that we understand what's going on in the world," Lenoir said. 

Lenoir is a graduate of Youngstown Early College, where she was class president and prom queen. She has an Associate's degree from Youngstown State University and currently attends The Ohio State University majoring in criminology and sociology and minoring in African American Studies. 

"We need to be together in this," said Lenoir. Lenoir said handling conflict in a peaceful manner is better than violence. 

"I am proud of what I did because my rally was peaceful, and it ended peacefully," she said. 

Lenoir plans to go to law school after she completes her undergraduate degree to become a judge eventually. She wants to start a support group for underrepresented people. "I want to bring people who've been through situations like this and can talk to people that are hurting," she said. 

Lenoir said this event sparked more ideas for her to continue to be an advocate for peace. 

"I have a lot of ideas to help bring awareness to situations like these to help make a change," Lenoir said.