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9-year-old protests for racial equality with chalk art

CHICAGO — A young Chicago boy’s solitary demonstration for peace and understanding has gone viral on social media, WLS reports.

Nine-year-old Aiden Kelley is using his chalk art to inspire social justice in his community. 

After Aiden heard his neighbor’s idea to draw hearts along their neighborhood, he didn’t waste time in spreading the message of love and friendship. 

“I just wanted to like support like everyone and make sure every body feels happy because there’s been a couple of crazy things happening over the past few days,” Aiden said. 

He wanted to be part of a movement he’d heard about and seen on TV, so with a ruler and a piece of paper, he made his own Black Lives Matter sign and stood outside his house by himself. 

He asked his neighbors to take part in a unique way. 

“I just didn’t want to just be out here with a crowd staring at me holding my sign,” Aiden said. “I thought it would be better to just stand here and have people come and then ask them…if they want to draw and write something.”

Now the sidewalks of Aiden’s neighborhood are covered in colorful chalk with messages of hope.

His mother, Katya Kelley, was taken aback by her son’s enthusiasm to help make change. 

“It was our neighbor Pauly’s idea to have to draw the hearts, and when I told  Aiden about it, he got very excited and dropped his bucket of chalk and went down here did all the work,” Katya said. 

A neighbor snapped a photo of Aiden, which went viral, circulating tens of thousands of times on social media. 

“I just want everybody to be treated nicely and not anybody be treated differently,” Aiden said. 

He said his project is about sharing love and understanding and simply being nice. 

“There aren’t just two races. There is only one race: the human race,” Aiden said. 

He is hoping that life will imitate his art and in some small way, his effort will help bring peace and understanding.