Making Ends Meet

Dear Friends:

As I write to you I am more than 200 into Walk to Freedom, in Nettleton, Missisippi. Once I hit Tupelo, I will only be 100 miles away from Memphis where I will participate in the National Civil Rights Museum’sMLK50 commemoration ceremonies. I’ve gotten this far thanks to the help of so many who have joined in the walk with their donations – a dear friend gave me frequent flier miles to cover my plane ride, another leant me a tent; so many people have put me up in their homes along the way and many of you have donated money so that I can buy food during the trip, purchase a new pair of wool hiking socks when I needed; stay in a motel when there are tornado warnings…

Walk to Freedom has been about raising awareness of Martin Luther King’s ideas and the preservation of our civil rights. Each day as I have walked the roadways of Alabama and Mississippi, I have thought about how much our ancestors had to struggle to provide the freedoms we now take for granted. Across Alabama my story has resonated with people in ways I could not have imagined. Alabamians stopped me on the street every day to say how inspired they are and offered me food and water and sometimes literally the change from their truck so I could buy a soda pop down the road. They opened their homes and churches to me, and prayed for me on the street so I would continue to have a safe journey. One person even asked me to sign her Bible. I have received amazing press coverage, too: in the Daily Hampshire Gazette (MA), the Daily Mountain Eagle (AL), the Selma Times (AL), the Monroe Journal (MS), all three TV stations in Birmingham, and WSFA in Montgomery.  If you haven’t already, please visit my website – I want you all to feel a part of this journey!

Before starting out on this 400 mile walk, I raised $2,120 — or just under half of what I needed to complete the journey. Every day I am 15-20 miles closer to my goal, but I still need to raise $2,000 to make the ends meet. With just two weeks to go before the commemoration at the National Civil Rights Museum, now is the time to help.

One of my biggest donors, April Ellington, donated $500 because she has toured through the South and other parts of the country with her band the Savoy Ellingtons and, like her father, Duke Ellington, recognizes the work we must continue to do if universal Civil Rights is to become more than a dream. My friend Nina Mankin donated $60 because she wants her Ethiopian son, Agho, to have role models in their own community who put their bodies on the line and stand up for freedoms – of movement and self-realization –  too many brown children can not afford.

Please help me raise the needed funds to finish this important journey. Donate now to my GoFundMe page.

I have put more of myself and my own personal resources into this walk than I ever imagined possible. I am blessed to be able to undertake such a journey and I need your help to complete it; please consider donating so that it will be a complete success – a success I share with all of you.

God bless,

Ken Johnston