pictured above from day 19 (Saturday may 19) the FreeThem Walkers make it to United Nations in NYC)
(photos from @TheFreehemWalkUSA Instagram page)
by Jennifer Strickland
There’s a small army of soldiers who are courageous, focused, and determined, to fulfill the mission of Kelly Diane Galloway, our world’s contemporary Harriet “Moses” Tubman. Ms. Galloway and 14 others began their walk from Lynchburg, VA to Buffalo, NY, May 3, 2021.
They’re traveling along one of the routes of the Underground Railroad, the best kept secret, of the 19th century, for leading enslaved African Americans from bondage in the southern states to freedom in the north and Canada.
Ms. Galloway, the visionary and founder of Project Mona’s House, a program of the Christian Humanitarian organization, Ramp Global Ministries, that helps those who are homeless, orphaned, and exploited through human trafficking (projectmonashouse.com), knows that more attention and energy must be given to the eradication of these offenses against humanity.
Galloway, the “Lead Conductor” and her team of ‘abolitionists’ are walking the route to bring greater awareness of human trafficking and its existence as a form of modern-day slavery.
Their journey, to date, has brought them from Lynchburg to New York City, and it has been eventful. They’ve stopped in several cities, shared their mission, and gained support. They’ve been housed, fed, and supported by many as they’ve traveled from state to state; much like the original “passengers” on the Underground Railroad. They’ve even added a new walker along the way.
This persistent crew of now 16 “FREETHEM” walkers, 11 women and 5 men, are energized by daily workouts and the covenant relationships they’ve established through food and lodging donations from recreational vehicle (RVs) and Airbnb owners, and hotels along the way.
June 19, 1865 is the date of the first Juneteenth celebration, when the enslaved in Galveston, TX were informed that they’d been declared ‘free’ two and a half years earlier by declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation.
This year, on June 19, the “FREETHEM” walkers plan to arrive in Buffalo’s Niagara Square that morning and complete their journey with festivities at the Michigan Street African Heritage Corridor. Buffalo will be filled with excitement that day as Juneteenth is celebrated throughout the community on this first New York State and City of Buffalo designated Juneteenth holiday.
For more information on “THE FREETHEM WALK” and how you can support their mission, go to thefreethemwalk.com.