Young boy protests alone in South Shore for racial equality

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After 9-year-old Aiden Kelley heard his neighbor's idea to draw hearts along their South Shore neighborhood sidewalks, he didn't waste any time in spreading the message of love and friendship.

"I just wanted to support like everyone and make sure everybody feels happy because there's been a couple of crazy things happening over the past few days," Kelley said.

The Andrew Jackson Language Academy student took it a step further.

He wanted to be part of the movement he'd heard about and seen on TV, so with a ruler and piece of paper, he made his own Black Lives Matter sign and stood outside his house by himself.

He also challenged his neighbors to take part in a unique way.

"I didn't want to just be out here with a crowd staring at me holding my sign. I mean, I thought it would be better to just stand here and have people come and then ask them if they want to draw and write something," Kelley said.

Kelley helped to cover the sidewalks in colorful chalk with message of hope.

His mother, Katya Kelly, said she was taken aback by her son's enthusiasm to help make change.

"It was our neighbor Polly's idea to draw the hearts, and when I told Aiden about it, he got very excited and dropped his bucket of chalk and went down here did all the work," she said.

A neighbor snapped a photo of the little activist and artist - which has been circulated on social media tens of thousand of times.

"I just want everybody to be treated nicely and not anybody being treated differently," he said.

Kelley said this project is about sharing love, understanding and simply being nice.

"There aren't just two races, there is only one race - the human race," he said.
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