Demetrius Nash, 39, is traveling from Chicago to Washington, D.C on foot to protest the violence that is plaguing his city.
There have been more than 400 homicides in Chicago so far this year, and more than 2,220 shootings, according to The Chicago Tribune. Compounding the violence problem, a dramatic increase in unemployment among black citizens has given Illinois the nation’s highest black unemployment rate.
Nash is from the Bronzeville district of Chicago, a neighborhood on the South Side that was once known as the “Black Metropolis.”
In hopes of saving the city from turmoil, Nash has made plans to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus and Illinois Congresspeople once he arrives in Washington, D.C., ABC 7 Chicago reports.
While this odyssey may seem near impossible, Nash has prepared for this day with two months of training. He has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $15,000 for resources, supplies and lodging for his 22-day journey.
Fleet Feet Sports donated custom shoes, insoles, hydration packs, sock and anti-chafing balm to help Nash for his travels.
Nash is making headlines now with his extreme protest but is no stranger to the world of civil rights activism.
He founded “Replace Guns with Hammers,” an initiative that offers work training for at-risk youth. The program also includes a mentoring program for the young men.
Nash said that he was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, and decided to take a literal long walk for the black neighborhoods suffering in Chicago.
He plans to walk 10 hours a day, each day to the nation’s capital.