Chicago man walks to D.C. to raise awareness about gun violence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Demetrius Nash returned home Sunday after walking from Chicago to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about gun violence in the city.

Starting at his grandmother's house in the Bronzeville neighborhood, Nash walked an average of 20 miles a day, traveling small town roads surrounded by cornfields, busy highways surrounded by traffic and lonely isolated roads in bad weather.

When he made it to Washington, D.C., he met with political leaders, including civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Nash spent his late teens and early 20s as one of the biggest drug dealers in Chicago. Then his late 20s and early 30s, he served time in prison.

Now, he's determined to make a difference.

"When I was incarcerated ... I would ask God for forgiveness and what I needed to do to be a better man when I came home," Nash said.

Back in Chicago, he's ready to spread the word of anti-violence.

On Sunday, he spoke to some young men about his journey to the White House and in life.

Nash now works in construction, calling his mission "Replace Guns with Hammers" -- in other words, put young men to work building the community rather than tear it apart with violence.

He recruited friends and family to help.

"Once he explained to me and what it was about ... I had no other choice because I care a lot about the community also," said friend Dwayne Williams.

Now that the walking is done, the hard work begins, Nash said. He plans to meet with community and political leaders to talk about ways to stop the violence.
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