By Jeff Todd

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – A Black Lives Matter rally in Greeley saw a large, diverse crowd of more than 500 people Friday night as a nationwide movement grew in Colorado.

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“Being a black woman here in Greeley I have known that Greeley tends to be a racist town and had those racist tones toward the people of color and black people in the community. To see so much support, see so many people come out and say we are with you, we are with you. We are with the black lives, we understand and we want to make sure that there is change is a really beautiful thing,” said Tobi Ogunmodede one of the event organizers.

The crowd gathered near a picnic area at Monfort Park, the site of another planned protest on Saturday morning. Nearly everyone wearing a mask as they huddled and listened to two hours of poems, speeches and chants.

“Trying to stand up for those who don’t really have a voice and are under-represented,” said Lauren Archibeque, a life-long Greeley resident. “It’s not just black people who need to be out here. All colors, everybody needs to come together and especially white people honestly.”

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Ellis Hayden was in the middle of the crowd holding up a sign urging people to vote and on the reverse side was a question, “Am I next?”

“The injustice we are facing right now is unacceptable. At all. Am I the next person to get taken from police brutality or any brutality? Am I the next one? Am I the next black person to be the victim of racism,” Hayden said. “That’s what brings everyone out here, they want to convey their message of racial inequality.”

“I know Greeley is really conservative so to see all of us come out is really special. It doesn’t stop here either, we have to continue after all this,” said Archibeque.

(credit: CBS)

“I’m glad there are so many people out here who are ready to say black lives matter, not just mine but black lives matter here in Greeley, Colorado and all over the world,” said Ogunmodede. “I want to see some change. I want to see some accountability. I want to see something that says black lives matter.”

Jeff Todd