One Chicagoan says he's had enough of the violence and wants to help put an end to it by walking from Chicago to Washington D.C.
Demetrius Nash says he’s trying to raise awareness while appealing to the community’s conscience. He says it may seem like a daunting task to walk the 672 miles to Washington, but he says he`s up to it.
“I’m walking for mental health issues,” he says. “The fact that these kids don`t have places to go that are safe … it`s just a lot of issues. But gun violence and “replace guns with hammers” is the focus of the walk
Replace Guns with Hammers is a non-profit Nash started to get young men off the streets and into the trades, rehabbing building in their own communities.
He`s using his own life as a testimony.
“At one point I was part of the problem, now I`m obligated to be part of the solution for the Chicago,” he says.
Nash spent eight years in prison for drug trafficking and another four years on probation, which he just completed in May. He says he was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s book '”A long walk to freedom.”
“I knew that fighting for the community was my purpose when it began to wake me up and keep me up,” he says.
Training for his trek hasn`t been easy. He walks five to six hours a day and has invested in special socks and shoes. He also carries a backpack that he says used to be filled with guns, drugs and money but is now filled with hopes and dreams. It is a journey that he hopes will raises awareness and inspire other to take action.
Nash leaves Friday. He expects to travel 25 miles a day and is giving himself 30 days to get there. Once he`s there, he expects to meet with members of the
Congressional Black Caucus and members of the Illinois delegation. There are no plans right now to meet with President Trump.
He has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the journey. Friends will be driving him back to Chicago.