(AllHipHop News) Londrelle Hall and Ray Mills wanted to find a way to honor the memory of Michael Brown and also shine a light on positive images of black men. The two friends decided to start “Run for Justice” and run over 540 miles from Atlanta, Georgia to Ferguson, Missouri – the site where Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th.
“The Mike Brown incident happened and I had a reason to run for not just my problems, but the problems of the world. I came to Ray with the idea of running to Ferguson to raise awareness of what’s going on here, and he was behind it 100 percent,” said Hall.
The pair trained for several weeks before taking on the formidable 20-day journey. They walked or ran an average of 35 miles per day. When both men finally arrived at the Brown memorial in the town, Hall fell to his knees and began crying. The 28-year-old videographer and artist was overwhelmed with emotion.
“You watch it on TV from home, and we collaborated on this idea. While we’re doing it, there’s no way to expect how you would feel until you’re actually here,” stated Hall. “When I arrived, it was breathtaking. This young man was killed here coming from a store. He’s one of the main reasons we are here.”
The tragic killing of Brown served as the inspiration for Hall and Mills’ run, but their mission grew into being about something more than just the teen’s death. They also started a $1 million GoFundMe crowdsurfing campaign to provide financial assistance to Brown’s family and the loved ones of other black men killed by police like John Crawford in Ohio and Charles Smith in Savannah, Georgia. The proceeds will help cover the legal costs of protesters that were arrested in Ferguson as well.
All the funds will go to those causes and to eventually help open an afterschool/summer program for black youth that focuses on African history, arts, critical and free thinking, entrepreneurship, and youth Empowerment.
Mills and Hall also wanted to change the perception of young black men. The duo felt their journey was a way to present a different, more favorable model of young people that look like them.
“Statistically, it seems like in our community [black men] are incarcerated or doing nothing. We want to go against the grain and not be another statistic, and we wanted to inspire other people to do the same.” said Mills, a 29-year-old credit repair company worker.
Watch Londrelle Hall and Ray Mills discuss their Atlanta-Ferguson run and the promo video for the Run For Justice GoFundMe campaign below.