In a November 1964 article, Journal Star writer Bill Conver conveyed disbelief in a shocking statistic: according to a study from the National Urban League, black Peoria stumbled along with a dismal 77% high school dropout rate. Out of a population of over 4,800 people, only 594 had completed 12 years of education. This percentage was worse than even Chicago or Springfield. While Conver highlights the educational hurdles which stymied black progress in Peoria, he also points out the organizations that mobilized to tear those hurdles down. Local organizations like the Association Public Service, a group of leading businessmen in black Peoria, and the Peoria Commission on Human Relations were present to provide job opportunities to the black population. Meanwhile, national organizations like the Urban League were touching down in Peoria to combat stagnancy in education and employment. The story of black Peoria was not simply failure – it was also one of a community looking to help itself.