As America braces a decision by a grand jury in the killing of Michael Brown, two men from Atlanta arrived in Ferguson, Mo., over the weekend, running more than 540 miles through rain, sleet and snow to get there.
The men, Londrelle Hall and Ray Mills, say they decided to run in order raise awareness for the racial injustice and police brutality exposed by the case.
"I had a reason to run," said Hall, a 28-year-old artist and videographer, in an interview with NBC News. "Not to run from my problems, but to run towards a problem and run for the problems of the world and the problems of America and what's going on now."
Wearing hoodies emblazoned with the phrase "Run for Justice," Hall and Mills, a 29-year-old small business owner, left Atlanta on Nov. 3 and covered about 35 miles a day over a 20-day span. They raised more than $3,400 in donations for their expenses, and hope to raise more to "help with bail and court fees of those wrongfully arrested" during the expected protests.
"Statistically, it seems like in our community [black men] are incarcerated for doing nothing," Mills said. "We want to go against the grain and not be another statistic, and we wanted to inspire other people to do the same."
Hall shared photos of their journey on his Instagram feed.
"We want to show that people who look like us can be doing something positive," he said.
On Sunday, when Hall and Miles reached a makeshift memorial at the spot where the unarmed teen was fatally shot in Ferguson, they were overcome with emotion.
"You look at the news on TV for so long, then you make the decision to come, to run, and then you finally get here, and it's like, 'Wow,'" Mills said. "It really took the breath out of me. I was at a loss for words."