It had been a while since Daniel Fairley II and Wes Bellamy last caught up, and this past weekend seemed like the best time.
The two wanted to go on a run to reconnect and clear their heads over troubling national news.
In the past week, reports had emerged of black jogger killed, according to authorities, by two white men in broad daylight in Georgia back in February with no arrests. Then a video of the shooting came out, leading to charges.
Fairley and Bellamy, a former Charlottesville city councilor, saw their run as a chance to take tangible action in solidarity with the slain man’s family.
“We need to have our voices heard,” Fairley said. “We can’t just sit by and let this happen.”
The duo was joined by about 50 people, adorned in face masks, at the Cherry Avenue Shopping Center on Friday and Saturday for a run as part of a worldwide solidarity movement for the family of Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery, a 25-year-old African American from a coastal community south of Savannah, was shot and killed after being confronted by two white men while on a Feb. 23 jog.
The men, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and his 34-year-old son, Travis, were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault on Thursday after a video of the shooting emerged online last week, according to the Brunswick News.
Throughout the world, people gathered over the weekend to jog 2.23 miles, symbolic of the date Arbery was killed, according to CNN.
Bellamy and Fairley sold T-shirts that said “Charlottesville Runs with Maud,” with all proceeds going directly to Arbery’s family.
“It won’t be much, but it’s a few hundred dollars we can send directly to the family,” Bellamy said. “It’s something we can do for them.”
Fairley wasn’t surprised that so many people showed up and pointed to the community’s involvement in equity issues since the 2017 Unite the Right rally.
“Things like this work,” he said. “They matter and they mean something.”