Local Santa Barbara resident David Crockett Williams will be leading a group of aspiring peace-makers on a 2,760 mile walk from San Diego to New York City on a trek called the 2013 Global Peace Walk.

Kick-off celebrations took place in Santa Barbara on Wednesday, which was also Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider signed a proclamation declaring Oct. 2, 2013 as Global Peace Walk Day in Santa Barbara.

While there have been two previous Global Peace Walks throughout the country already, this year’s will be the first to launch since 2000. It will begin Oct. 24 on the steps of City Hall in San Diego and will reach the United Nations Headquarters in New York City by June 26, 2014.

Peace-walkers like United States Veteran Felipe Chavez are hoping the journey will express the need for peace and unity in American society.

“We feel like it’s time, as human beings, to stand up for our rights,” Chavez said. “Some of us have been walking for many years across this land speaking about global peace, and I hope more people out there listen and get involved and get the message.”

While spreading ideals about global peace, Williams also hopes to convey positive messages about healthy living. In fact, Williams said he was inspired to organize the event after hearing much of the heated debate surrounding Obamacare, which just went into effect last week.

“I want to do this walk because Obamacare is going in all the wrong directions with all this knowledge,” Williams said. “We should focus on nutritional education, not this expensive stuff that causes problems.”

As he strongly holds this position on the topic, Williams also said he was inspired by the “90 for Life” method of naturopathic doctor Joel Wallach as an alternative to what he calls “expensive” health care. Wallach’s “90 for Life” solution to the challenge of healthy living is based on the idea that the human body requires 90 essential nutrients to achieve peak health and longevity, and Williams hopes to use his walk as a means of promoting this nutritional approach.

While very few new individuals attended the celebrations, with most participants having already participated in previous Global Peace Walks, Williams and Chavez said they expect to see a larger group when the walk begins in San Diego.

For Williams, the walk is a necessary statement in an increasingly war-ridden world, “That’s what it’s about… educating our relatives, spreading peace. All human beings need to stand up for global peace now,” he said.


A version of this article appeared on page 3 of Tuesday October 8, 2013′s print edition of The Daily Nexus.