February 15, 2011 (Investorideas.com Newswire)- Investorideas.com and its non-profit newswire interviews Illinois based musician, Dan Ross, as he nears his date for his 2000 mile walk across America for peace. Investorideas.com finds out what motivates a musician known as �Goofy Guitarist� on YouTube.com to walk for the people of Pine Ridge.
On April 15, Dan Ross begins his walk from Chicago, Illinois to the Oregon coast.
Funds raised from his walk will be donated to the youth of the Pine Ridge Reservation and the non-profit ONE Spirit.
Pine Ridge is an Oglala Sioux Native American reservation located in South Dakota. Pine Ridge is the eighth-largest reservation in the United States, and is also sadly, the poorest
Dan, you walk for peace is in Synchrodestiny with the universe now as we have witnessed one of the most dramatic and peaceful protests by a people in Egypt.
Can you tell us what motivated and inspired you to take on such a challenging endeavor?
A: Dan Ross
Honestly, I was watching "Forrest Gump" one night during the fall of 2010 when I was first struck with the idea to walk across 2/3 of the country. For those of you who are unfortunate enough not to have seen the movie (because it's a good one!), the main character spontaneously decides to run across the entire country, and it is certainly an inspiring moment in the film. Before that night, I had already planned on moving out of my hometown in 2011, in an effort to broaden my horizons and gain a new clarity of mind so that I might discover what I'd like to pursue in life; I just wasn't sure exactly where I would go or how I'd get there. So I would say that I was primed, ready, and waiting for a good idea to come along. All I needed was a spark of inspiration.
What motivates me to take on such a challenging endeavor is the fact that it IS a challenge. I enjoy pushing myself, if for no other reason than to test my own potential. Also, I believe traveling is one of the wisest things a person can do with their time and money- it allows you to learn things which cannot be taught. The possibilities of what I can learn from this journey are more than enough to motivate me to do it.
You have chose the youth of the Pine Ridge Reservation and the building of the Safe House and youth center as your non-profit to dedicate this to. A white youth from Illinois dedicating his walk to the native youth at Pine Ridge is an unexpected storyline; can you tell us how that came to be?
A: Dan Ross
Once I was certain that I would walk to the ocean in 2011, I began to think that maybe someone besides myself could benefit from this whole thing. After quite a bit of brainstorming, I was still unable to decide what cause I would walk for. Then, amidst the planning of my route, I noticed I would be walking right through the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a place which I knew nothing about at the time. So I did a little research, and the information I found was startling and overwhelming- unemployment estimated at 87%, life expectancy of about 50 years, 90% living below the federal poverty level, and teenage suicide rates 3 1/2 times the national average. I couldn't believe that this place was located practically right in the middle of the United States. The fact that I was unaware of the situation at Pine Ridge makes me think that most others living in this country are unaware, as well. From this point on, I was sure that I had found a just cause.
After notifying One Spirit that I would like to help, we decided I should dedicate the walk primarily to the youth on the reservation. If you provide the younger generation with a safer childhood, and more opportunities to learn and grow, it becomes likely that they will want to take action to help the next generation in the same way. If all a child knows growing up is poverty, it's easier to turn to drugs and/or gangs as a way out. I want to help show them something better.
Listening to your music, and you are really good by the way, one of your songs is called "Taking action ". Is that how you live your life?
A: Dan Ross
I will admit that I am not always "taking action" in my life, and that I don't mean to either. I like taking the time to think things through and plan carefully to ensure that when I do take action, I get results. However with that being said, there has been a lack of action being taken in my life this past year. I suppose I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but wait, I'm already grown up! 2010 seemed to fly by, and my mind is clouded with uncertainty regarding where I'm going in life. By embarking on this walk, I will take action to gain a new perspective on things, and help the Lakota people in the process.
We saw with Egypt how the young protesters made effective use of Facebook.com and Twitter.com to get their message and story out. Do you see it playing a big role in your walk and getting donations and awareness?
A: Dan Ross
Facebook and Twitter are certainly crucial in raising awareness for the walk. One Spirit and myself have already established contact over Facebook with people in other states who are eager to help coordinate the walk and spread the word. Throughout the walk I'll be posting updates on both Facebook and Twitter about where I am and what I'm doing so people can follow along. So if you're interested, join the group! And invite your friends!
What is your goal in terms of dollar amount you hope to raise with your walk and how can people donate and support what you are doing?
A: Dan Ross
I would rather not set a specific $ amount for a goal, as the main purpose of the walk is not only to raise money for the youth center One Spirit plans to build on the reservation, but also to raise awareness of the conditions at Pine Ridge. People who have never even heard of the place (like myself before this whole thing got started) need to know about it, because it's right here in America. Even if all I accomplished at the end of the walk was telling everyone about it, I would still consider it a success.
To donate, you can become a sponsor and give a dollar amount per mile, per state, or for the entire trip by visiting the One Spirit website at <www.nativeprogress.org>. Donations can be made through the website using Paypal, or by mailing a check or money order to :
One SpiritP.O. Box 3209Rapid City, SD 57709
Additional information regarding the walk can easily be found at the website. Even if you don't have much to give, every little bit counts and is greatly appreciated!
Any inspirational words for our readers in closing?
A: Dan Ross
Travel. Go places. Meet people. See and do things you've never seen and done before. It will make you more worldly, which makes you wiser. Staying in the same place for too long without ever leaving, not even for a small weekend trip, will cause your world to shrink around you, and you'll shrink with it. So broaden your horizons, see the world, and be aware of what's going on both near and far and you will be better for it.
Follow Dan On Facebook
Learn more about Dan's mission at his facebook group:
Dan Ross Walks to the Pacific
Hear Dan's Music:
ONE Spirit is proud to be able to offer a way for you to directly help a Lakota child, family, or elder in need.
ONE Spirit is a Native American service organization founded to assist and support American Indians. We are proud to think of our organization, ONE Spirit, as a group of people who exchange friendship, with American Indians. at present our focus is the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota. We invite you to become part of ONE Spirit's network of sponsors, partners, friends and volunteers, to dream with the Lakota people a new dream - and to help the dreams come alive!
The ONE Spirit Mission is to assist the Lakota people in preserving and revitalizing the Lakota culture, language, and self-sufficiency while meeting the basic needs of Lakota families, children, and elders. We strive to cultivate an intercultural relationship that recognizes that we are all related and that American Indians are an equal and valued part of our society.
Follow One Spirit on Twitter
Follow One Spirit's Blog
Jeri BakerONE Spirit Executive Director570-460-6567[email protected]
Diane CapalarioONE Spirit Assistant Director[email protected]
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