“What I wanted to do was do it the right way, not just show up on some corner with 500-1,000 people marching and it shut down the city,” Ramondo said. “My purpose was bringing the community together.”
Ramondo has been with Walmart for 10 years. The father of three started his current Store Manager role last December. Being back near his hometown motivated him to do more. He wanted to make sure he led by example in everything he did.
“I can’t be one way at work and be another way outside of work,” Ramondo said. “I’m all in.”
The march came together with the help of two friends. The group of three planned the event, consulted with city leaders, secured permits and lined the route with water stations. What followed was an overwhelmingly positive response. Ramondo described the sight as a sea of a melting pot of people.
“As I looked back, I kind of got emotional,” Ramondo said. “It was almost 50-50 white and black.”
The success of the event has encouraged Ramondo to consider making it an annual thing. He hopes to establish it as a 5K that takes place every year on the Saturday after Juneteenth. Proceeds from it would be directed to benefit the city or a nonprofit in the area.
“It’s just a humbling feeling that you can bring so many people together that don’t even know each other,” Ramondo said. “And, they’re asking for you to do more.”
The hope is he will look back at his inaugural march as a moment when steps were taken, in more ways than one.