At age 35 Audri Scott Williams had a successful life. Her 3 sons were active in school and sports, she was an administrator at a college in Southern Maryland and she was completing her Ph.D. She says that from the outside her life looked good but she had the feeling she was not doing what she was meant to do.
A serious health scare forced her to take stock of her life.
“I had what I call a heart awakening experience or a heart opening experience that showed itself as a heart attack”, says Scott Williams.
When she recovered she left her job at the college and “began to walk the path” of what she felt was her true calling. That path turned out to be peace activism, walking for peace.
Since 2000 Scott Williams has led peace walks across 17 countries and on 6 continents. Her walks have taken her through slave castles on the coast of Ghana and down segments of the Trail of Tears. Most recently she led a walk in Baltimore in memory of Freddy Gray who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. She hoped that the walk would help bring peace to the community and to highlight larger issues that surround the death of Gray.
“It’s easy for us to look at what happened to Freddy Gray and say ‘that’s the problem'”, says Scott Williams. She strives to help communities understand bigger picture issues and ask questions that will help get to the true root of problems like police brutality.
“As a community we’ve got to become more strategic at how we look at issues”, she says.