Reggie Dee works for Alpha Media in West Palm Beach. Today, he’s very far from West Palm Beach. Right now Reggie is somewhere between Wichita Falls and Layton, Oklahoma. He’s on his way to Seattle. You might think, so what, that’s no big deal, a lot of people drive across the country. Reggie Dee is walking. He’s walking for a cause and a promise. A promise he made to his mom.
Reggie’s mom recently died of cancer. She challenged him to create something that he would want to make a difference in. He chose to raise the awareness of racism and challenge others to be better leaders and support leaders in their community in a positive way. He promised her he would do that. So he put his walking shoes on, came up with this idea and it took off.
Back in 2015, Reggie completed a walk from Dallas to West Palm Beach. He walked more than 1,300 miles all in an effort to shine a light on the issue of racism. He created a whole movement called “Walk With Me Against Racism.” His walk brought national attention by the likes of celebrity talk show host Steve Harvey, as well as the constituents of each town and city that he walked through.
Reggie’s walk is now called the “Walk For Unity,” and his goal is to use social media in a positive way. All along his walk, some of it grueling highway walks, Reggie is meeting perfect strangers, befriending them, and posting good vibes on social media. It’s 3,300 miles from West Palm Beach to Seattle and Reggie expects it to take him about 60 days.
If you check out Reggie’s Facebook page HERE, you’ll see pictures and video he’s posted from Wichita Falls from Thursday. In one of the videos, Reggie is having a chat with members of the Wichita Police Department.
Reggie has had hotel rooms donated along the way. He has a safety vehicle in front of him to help him monitor the traffic and keep him hydrated.
One of the reasons we wanted to share Reggie’s story with all of you is that perhaps you own or operate a radio station along Reggie’s route, how great would it be to help him out with a hotel room or a nice meal or a live interview on one of your stations. Perhaps you want to donate to his cause.
Send Reggie an e-mail to congratulate him on what he’s doing at [email protected]
Or, send him a text to wish him well or let him know that if he comes through your town on his way to Seattle you’d like to help 214-228-6843.
We spoke to Reggie earlier in the week. Here’s our interview.
Radio Ink: Tell us about the relationship with your Mom?
Reggie: It is a beautiful relationship because she has always been a volunteer and she has always been focused on priorities. If there is something you need to do then create a solution for it or create the schematics to get something done. That comes from the way I think and the way I study and apply my efforts to pursue what I want to.
The relationship with her is because our last conversation — she died of cancer — was about her putting up a fight and going through the chemo because she didn’t want us to see her suffering. At the same time I made a promise to her. She gave me a list of things I need to do and accomplish, and she challenged me not to just walk for her cancer but create something that I would want to make a difference in. That is, raise awareness of racism and create a challenge to others to be better leaders and support leaders in their community in a positive way. I wanted to do a walk that would be special and she said, “do it so big that you create history out of it and make that your focus.” That is what I did before she passed away. I know she is waiting in the wings and looking over me. Even though I don’t get the cool coverage that normally happens but I get the support and coverage because I know my Mom and God are looking over me.
Radio Ink: What is the Walk for Unity?
Reggie: It is a way to stop the talk and do the walk. It is about the effort to show others that if you can put your mind to figure it out, ask people who are just like you to pay attention, follow, and support you, it can be done. Never make an excuse of not communicating and unifying people, especially with complete strangers. I am going to prove that to you, that I can get complete strangers to communicate with each other using the social media platform in a positive way instead of a negative way, like to talk down to people. I am using the social media platform to get complete strangers to help and support a person, at the same time sharing the good and bad things I see as I take these steps across America to unify people. I have been helping people who were stranded and couldn’t get home. I used the true footage of what that little girl was going through and suffering when she had her seizures, right there live. It benefitted her because everyone shared it and it got to her parents in a whole other state and she got home safely. I helped a pitbull puppy get a home, all the way to being blessed by an Indian group on sacred ground. It is all unification. People hated on me and called the police, but the sheriff ended up donating to the cause and bringing me water. I was able to share all those situations — you would be amazed at the turnout. I can show you what unity is with my walk.
Radio Ink: Tell us about the first walk you did.
Reggie: About two years ago I did a walk against racism. I walked from Dallas to West Palm Beach, Florida. I started the walk against racism as a promise to my Mom before she passed away. I raised awareness against racism. When you are fighting racism it could be positive. The wording of it did not balance out the way I wanted it to because there was always an argument when everybody talked about my actions. That first walk was still positive as I walked from state to state because people protected me. Others were saying I might get jumped, but that was not the case. There were more people out there securing me than there were people negative to me. I know that is still a good cause. I will go back to that in the future. The walk for racism was the first walk which lead me to most states across America from the bottom to the top. Something that nobody has done, it is what led me to the Walk for Unity. It started from walking for racism.
I used state roads and it took me about 28 days to walk it. It was about 3 million steps, 1270 miles. I walked each day. I did it all through social media, and at night I stayed in hotels donated by Mr. Freeman, a local lawyer. I stayed in 27 different hotel rooms. I walked an average of 42 to 47 miles a day, which was about 12 to 14 hours a day. I was greeted by the mayor of West Palm Beach, with the key to the city, which was a great inspiration to me. I cherish that.
Radio Ink: You are on a walk right now, even further?
Reggie: I am in Texas heading to Decatur. I get to share all the things I see and how you are greeted, how people approach you, how people act etc. It is longer but the longer it is the more people I get to meet. The more people I get to meet the more information I get to share. I am going from West Palm Beach all the way to Seattle and I will be finishing up at the T-Mobile headquarters. The CEO is aware of what I am doing and they reached out to me, and I am using their coverage to help me with my broadcast so I don’t have to pay for it. That was great. I can’t wait to meet the T-Mobile team when I get there.
Radio Ink: When do you think you will get there?
Reggie: Fifty-nine more days.
Radio Ink: Is there anything other radio stations along your route can do to help you?
Reggie: They can do what you are doing — help me get the word out. Help me explain and get people to follow and see what I have already done. Get them to anticipate what I am going to do because each day is so different. I would love other radio stations to treat me like I was one of their jocks because I am a radio jock. If I was to find a beautiful cause like this in my community I would love to put him on the radio so he can get the word out to get more followers. There are a lot more people who would love to unify. If you don’t communicate and put the word out and let them know the person is walking in their town, they won’t know. That is why radio and news is very important to me. It is disappointing when I don’t get their support. It is a lesson learned that I will pass on when I finish the walk. You can’t get discouraged when things don’t go your way. It is what it is but I am still gonna walk, no matter what.
Radio Ink: What social media are you using?
Reggie: I am on Facebook. You can follow me on walkforunity.com and Instagram, which is @ reggiedee. My personal Facebook is Reginald Dee, but that is maxed out so I created a public figure which is Reggiedee. That is the one you have to like and click on. I post a pictures on the Instagram and the long videos I post on Facebook. I try to send photos of the things you wouldn’t expect, and how close the vehicles get, how narrow the road is, how the sun rises and sets, weather, architecture of these cool bridges and cities. I show things you don’t normally see.
Radio Ink: How are you raising money?
Reggie: A cash app was donated to me directly, mostly from people who know me. Others have been cool, amazing, complete strangers who are now my friends. They went to the website walkforunity.com and clicked on the donate button. They help with hotel, food, water. You can also donate actual steps, so I won’t be the only one taking steps. If someone walks and takes 3K or 4K steps as an individual, or combined with a team, you can add those steps to my walk. I add them with my steps and hopefully that will be a massive number at the end when I combine them. We can all say we took steps in support of this beautiful cause.
Radio Ink: How are your knees holding up?
Reggie: Everything is fine. If anything it is my heels. Goodness gracious the heels will wake up your achilles. Especially on my left leg, walking against the traffic can have a tilt to where you are walking on a slant. Miles and miles to where my left shoe is flat more and it is weird.
Radio Ink: What are you doing to keep yourself from being bored in those long stretches between towns?
Reggie: I have a little recorder to record my thoughts. Sometimes I video and talk to myself. I really don’t listen to music because it’s not safe and I want to hear what’s going on in my environment. I would like to listen to books, that was the plan, but safety first. I’m not getting bored because it could be like the Indians who gave me the necklace and said I would be protected. Ever since then I have been noticing these light green butterflies. I don’t want people to think I am crazy. I took a selfie and one of them landed on me. I was like, “see I told you all.” There are tons of them following me. Look up the research on the yellow butterfly and that gives a description of the Indian tribe.
Radio Ink: Are you doing this walk by yourself?
Reggie: There’s a guy a half mile back, who just drove back up to see why I’m standing here talking to you. He keeps an eye on me, keeps me hydrated and reminds me to eat, or tells me how far to go. We communicate with walkie talkies. Once I hit the city limits he will look up the hotel and then I hop in to get to the hotel. I used to walk from hotel to hotel but I realized once I hit the city limits the hotel could be another 10 or 11 miles. Once I’m at the hotel I take a shower, then go out and see the city and take pictures and share it.