Nearly 4,000 miles from Chicago, activist Ja’Mal Green is on a trek of a lifetime, climbing Mt. Snowdon in the United Kingdom this weekend to raise money to unite his own Chicago neighborhood.
Green compares the challenge of scaling the mountain with one he's taking on at home, attempting to open a youth peace center on Chicago’s South Side. Over the past year, his nonprofit Majostee Allstars has raised tens of thousands to rehab an old bank building in Aubrun Gresham and turn it into a community center to teach youth life skills.
"We thought it was going to be easy… building a massive facility like we’re building," Green said on Skype after the climb. "We thought people were just going to jump on and support it and get this facility up and running but it’s been hard, it’s been tough, and we’ve been taking baby steps here and there."
This weekend’s climb on a different continent, he says, raised thousands of dollars that’ll go into the center, taking steps toward the dream of giving back and giving hope to a community.
"We know we got our ups and downs but we gotta keep going until we get to the main focus of getting the facility open so it can serve the community," Green said. "I think it’s a metaphor for a lot of people in the city of Chicago when it comes to reducing violence and changing our communities."
Green said he thinks they can make their dream a reality - one step at a time.