[Hometown Hero] Baltimore Native, Darius Johnson Sets The Cleaning Standard For The Inner City

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Darius Johnson at his neighborhood clean-up (2015)

Darius Johnson was born and raised in West Baltimore. He grew up in the Sandtown community. He attended National Academy Foundation High School and played multiple sports for Digital Harbor. His younger years were spent with friends and family who eventually fell victim to the venomous streets. Darius made sure that his life did not follow that same negative path. 

In retrospect, growing up we never thought much of how we treated our neighborhoods and, even worse, each other. It was not until we were doing community service in the city of Chester with my Widener University football team, that I began to think of ways to give back to my own city once I returned. While doing a cleanup with the team, I was approached by some kids that were from the neighborhood that began to ask why we were cleaning up. They wondered, “Did ya’ll get in trouble?” and “Why are you out here cleaning up?” They reminded me so much of myself and the types of questions I may have asked at that age back home that I begin wondering why we had to question cleaning up our own home. I began to ask myself: how can we venture to make our communities a better place, when psychologically we view it as a place fit to leave trash?  With this in mind, I realized all great journeys start with small steps. I began to plan, finance and host this neighborhood cleanup series as my way of giving back to the city I love, all while working to reshape the way that we view the places that we live.

                                                        – Darius Johnson

Darius‘ mission with this series is to start conversations about how and why we view our streets, the way we do. He hopes too that this reoccurring event grows large enough to re-establish the tradition of entire blocks taking pride in where they live. The goal is to continue to reach out to Baltimore communities through service and involvement, to make these neighborhoods better places for the next generation. As you can see Darius is very eager to keep the streets of Baltimore clean. Darius conducted his first neighborhood cleanup in spring of last year, which was a very poignant time for Baltimore. Although it was a rough time, he was still able to bring many people together for a common cause. He has conducted two more since then one being just last month.

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We chose Darius as our hometown hero because he shows concern and he shows consistency. Not only does he help to keep the streets of Baltimore clean, he has a hauling business (Big Blue Hauling LLC) that takes care of all of your junk removal needs!  If you want to be part of this greatness, there will be another clean-up in July. We will keep you updated with the date, time, and location.

To keep up with Darius and his heroic moves go here:

Instagram or Facebook

 

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