Texas man touring 100 cities, stops in Madison to spread message of unity

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- A Texas man stopped by Madison in his mission to tour the nation and spread a message of unity.

Madison is Carlen Charleston's 70th stop in his nationwide tour. He said he is trying to bring about unity by meeting and engaging with people.

Carlen Charleston spent Thursday and Friday in the state capital, his 70th stop out of 100 U.S. cities. The executive director of E.R.A.S.E. Race, a nonprofit, said he is trying to bring about unity by meeting and engaging with people.

The former Marine and high school teacher said he once thought he knew everything there was to know about people.

“I think we’re too used to being in our secluded areas and we don’t really interact with people different than we are,” he said.

But he said this tour changed him: “I realized now that it’s only when I started traveling and meeting people and going places that I really understand America. That’s amazing.”

Since he began the tour in June, Charleston said he has met many great people. In Little Rock, Arkansas, he said he met a woman who partook in the historic integration of a white high school in 1957.

“It was just amazing to get the history and to find out that there have been people way before me who have been involved in the struggle to bring about unity,” he said.

After heading next to Ohio, Charleston said he will visit dozens more cities before returning to his home state.