ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Kelly Diane Galloway traveled the route of the Underground Railroad from Virginia to Rochester as part of the ‘FreeTHEM Walk,’ a movement to end human trafficking.
Galloway started planning the walk two years ago when she noticed a lack of conversation about Juneteenth and what it meant.
“It hurt my heart because Juneteenth was the day that represented freedom for enslaved Africans,” she said. “My ancestors, people who are victims of human trafficking — that was the day we commutate freedom for the largest legal human trafficking.”
But Galloway isn’t walking alone: among those joining her are 3-year-old Aleesa Robinson and her parents.
“Share this experience with her and even though she doesn’t understand it, we can go back and tell her,” said Galloway. “This stroller belongs in a museum."
Galloway believes she was called to take on this walk — something she keeps with her when it gets tough.
“Remembering … ‘who are we doing this for?’” she said.
The walk ends on June 19 in Buffalo, but Galloway’s work is just beginning.
“Every step the FreeTHEM walkers take is fanning the flame for the fight of freedom,” she said.