Organizers are gearing up for a March on Richmond to mark the historic 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Planners say hundreds will rally to send a loud message to local lawmakers and businesses.
It's four hours of protest with a purpose - according to organizers - who describe this weekend's March on Richmond as a local call to action that change is needed even in the Richmond metro.
At 30-years-old, Nathaniel Lewis is fighting to be freed from his past. Six years ago he finished serving time for a felony conviction.
"I want to see the opportunity, the equal opportunity. Like for someone like myself, I went to college, took a trade but because of something I did at 17 hinders me now at 30," Lewis admitted.
He feels it's preventing him from finding full time work. Every day he heads to a temp agency to find day to day work - but the jobs aren't always there.
Organizers with the Richmond NAACP are handing out flyers promoting the march -- a rally to create jobs for everyone.
"This past year there were thousands and thousands of unfilled jobs in the city and in the region but the problem was they are not people who are skilled for those jobs and then there are those who don't have transportation to get to those jobs," said organizer Dr. Kim Allen.
Attendees will leave the Richmond Coliseum marching to 5th Street. From there, to Marshall Street and then to 10th Street. The walk ends at the Capitol Bell Tower.
Lewis plans to be front and center. He keeps the hope of having a brighter future.
"I have a degree and I'm also certified in information technology. So the ideal would be to pull out my computer as soon as I get in my office with a jacket and tie on and work for a company I can see myself growing with…I never give up. I stay confident. That's the reason I wake up every day," he said.
The march will take place Saturday at 10 a.m., but first attendees are asked to assemble an hour earlier at Festival Park. It's the first march of its kind locally and organizers hope it will bring results.
Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics