Saturday, April 26, 2008

Walk Story - 2008 Troy, NY - Jonathan Jones

Here is a Walk Story from Jonathan Jones who participated in the 2008 Troy, NY Walk:

Dear Frank,
  First I like to congratulate you on the success of your initiative.  I participated in the 'Walk a mile in her shoes' event this year in Troy, NY and was amazed not only by the excitement during the walk, but the outpouring of supporting before we launched.  My team "Lovely Latin Guys" won the trophy for most money raised with $919.  I decided to walk this year because I made a pact with myself that this year in my life I would do things that put causes' in front of my ego.  What better event to start with! I was able to raise $239 in one week and this really motivated my participation as the event drew closer.
 Once I arrived at the registration table and got my shoes, I realized that I would be walking for more than I'd expected.  My group consisted of 3 Latino men all over the age of 40.  I am a 24 year old Black male and was the only Black person to participate at the event (from the people I saw at the starting line) .  As I walked I carried those stories of Black and Latino women and men with me.  In addition, I walked the first .5 and jogged .5 of a mile through the finish line. After crossing, I was proud not only that I completed the entire walk but that my girlfriend who walked alongside me was also proud.  This event brought out a side of myself that I never would have thought existed.  More importantly and without knowing, I became a representative for a cohort of people who are equally impacted by sexualized violence.
Most of my friends and family were very supportive, but of course some don't understand why I would want to do something that totally conflicts my character.  But for me, it is that exact reason.  No one that knows me would expect me to do such an event, but after doing it and realizing the impact and purpose attached to it, I am glad to have been chosen.  The amazing fact that every 90 seconds there is another victim is a testament to how important it is that we become more aware and pro-active to the ills in our society.  It is my hope that next year I can provide some awareness to my community and increase participation.  Props to you for your vision and the walk.


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