One year later, strangers still coming together to 'Walk With Shawn'

One year later, strangers still coming together to 'Walk With Shawn'
Posted at 10:42 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 07:14:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One step in front of the other. You probably don’t give it much thought. But one year ago Shawn Dromgoole said the thought of walking down his South Nashville street was crippling.

"Someone is going to kill me. Someone is going to say I'm suspicious. Someone is going to hurt me," he said, "I was always on the phone with somebody and I had my ID to prove I lived in this neighborhood."

During a time of racial unrest, Dromgoole was fearful because of the color of his skin.

"All these things, all these social media posts, all these stories, all those Trayvon Martin's and Ahmaud Arbery's, all those stories are literally standing in front of me and I couldn't do it," he said.

Dromgoole shared his fears on social media and the response was overwhelming.

"This street from here all the way down four blocks - full of people. People from everywhere, people from Lavern people from all over the city because they saw the story and they wanted to walk."

That’s when #WeWalkWithShawn was born.

Now a year later and several walks all over the country, Dromgoole is back in South Nashville thanking his community the best way he knows how.

Resident Miranda Tidwell who joined his walk Thursday said, "but it is really cool that it was just a casual thing that's turned into something more permanent."

"If we're going to stand together and talk about unifying this neighborhood first and then our nation as a whole, this is a way we can do it in a really easy way," added fellow walker Fallon Klug.

The movement started here in Dromgoole's 12 South neighborhood, but it’s a message that can be spread everywhere.

"I think that's the most important part to me is hearing the stories, because I hear your story and you hear my story. I look at you differently, you look at me differently. Not only that, I look at people who look like you differently," he said.

Dromgoole is excited to share has now partnered with the Nextdoor app for a national "Walk With Me" campaign. He will host another #WeWalkWithShawn event Saturday, June 5 at the Sevier Park playground beginning at 2 p.m.