MINNEAPOLIS — An Alabama man's journey to Minneapolis is nearly complete.
Terry Willis has been walking from Alabama to 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, the spot where George Floyd died in police custody.
"This has been a long long long journey," said Willis Saturday afternoon as he arrived at the Clientele Barbershop in north Minneapolis.
Willis' trek began June 2 with a mission he summed up in three words: "change, justice, equality."
After witnessing the death of George Floyd, Willis says the issues associated with systemic racism have reached new extremes, and for too long have claimed the lives of people who look just like him. He says it's time people of color be seen and respected.
"I’ve been arrested over 100 times, I’ve been tased, I could’ve been George Floyd," said Willis. He went on to say, "so I thought of the most extreme thing which is walk a thousand miles from Alabama to the exact location where George Floyd was murdered.”
Before reaching the finish line, he found himself at the Clientele Barbershop on the city’s north side, where his mission hits home for both his followers and people like Rory Purnell, who want to share in the same experiences Willis is marching for.
"I want equality, I want to be treated equally when I walk in the bank, to get a loan for some commercial property. I want to be able to be treated just as anybody else that comes in," said Purnell.
Now, just a day shy of nearing the finish line, through the mission and the message, Willis is finding hope in the work that’s already being done.
"We all know that we need change in this world, and it's sad that it's taken this long and this many murders for us all to start doing something," said Willis.
Willis will finish his trek at the Floyd memorial on Sunday.