NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Sunday, dozens of neighbors came together to support a man who at one point didn’t feel safe walking around his own neighborhood. 

Nashville native Shawn Dromgoole grew up in 12South with his mom and grandmother, But after learning about the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, he no longer felt safe walking around his neighborhood.  

“I see this young man who looks like me running in his neighborhood and I’m like, ‘I can’t do it. I’m going to be dead, that’s it,’” Dromgoole said. 

His fears intensified as Nashville grew and he knew fewer and fewer of his neighbors. 

“When you looked on the Facebook neighborhood page or Nextdoor, there were suspicious looking Black people walking down the street. And I’m like I don’t have the chance to explain myself. I don’t have the opportunity to say, ‘No, I live here. I’ve lived here my whole entire life,’” Dromgoole said. 

After he and his mom posted these concerns on Facebook and the Nextdoor app, things began to change. One by one, neighbors offered to walk with him, eventually sparking a national movement. 

“This is our official 85th walk. I just did one last weekend in the Hamptons. We’ve done them in nine states. People want to walk and, in every walk, people have met their neighbors, they’ve talked to their neighbors, they’ve shared the story of community and neighbors together,” Dromgoole said. 

The walks have also brought attention to some of the fears Dromgoole’s mom faces every time he leaves the house.  

“Every one of them that happens from Travon Martin on up, you feel it as a Black mom. It’s like there by the grace of God it could be me, and I think that’s the hardest part,” Dromgoole’s mother Lynne Dunn said. 

With each walk, they hope for a brighter future. 

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“We’re excited to keep moving and keep going. Being a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. And we will continue to do that as long as we need to,” Dunn said. 

Dromgoole plans to hold another neighborhood walk next Sunday at Sevier Park. The public is welcome to attend.