On Aug. 14, there was a national moment of silence that took place in Union Square to reflect upon the recent death of Michael Brown.
Participants chanted, "Hands up! Don't shoot!" as they marched from Union Square to Times Square.
Curtis, 25, says it took a while for him to learn he didn't have to prove anything to anyone: "We need to fucking work together!"
"Approach me as a human." Jazzi, 24
"It’s hurtful to the human race, it’s hurtful to us as a people. If we ever want to build the country that we claim that we want so badly ... that’s why I’m here," says Andrew, 27.
Donovan, 17, had some practical advice for the NYPD. "Police should wear recording devices," he wrote.
Szaniya, far left, lives on 123rd Street in Harlem. Her family has been in the neighborhood for several generations. "Stop being racist to people, so white people and black people can get along better."
Zaiar, 12, thinks that it's important to ask the government to enact positive change. She and Szaniya are BFFs.
Charles is Zaiar's dad. He says he interacts with the police regularly when hanging out in his neighborhood.
Rally participants were somber and quiet.
Lee works with an organization called Fierce that educates minority LGBTQ youth about their rights. "The police are not going to tell you your rights, so we have to educate each other," she says.
Gregory says, "Be compassionate to poor people and treat them as human beings — like yourself."
Doe says that the relationship with the police improved after his Harlem neighborhood became more gentrified. “They say they shoot out of fear for their lives," he says, "but they send us to jail when we shoot out of fear for our own lives."
Thomas had a lot to say about the way different mayoral leadership affected his daily life. Thomas is not a fan of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and has a lot of support for Mayor Bill de Blasio, despite the recent death of Eric Garner.
"They could be polite," Barbara wrote, after describing being pushed against a wall and exposed during an encounter with the police.
Julia Furlan is the Supervising Producer of the BuzzFeed Audio PodSquad and is based in New York.