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Imagine a world without judgement.
Imagine a world of love.

Photo by Michael Bracey Photography

Walking 754 Miles for Radical Love

This is a love story. A tribute to the people that so many deem as invisible, dismiss, and/or hate because of the color of their skin. "I had never even considered them, their lives, their lived experiences, the depth of the harm, the trauma, that they experience every day. Not easy to admit and necessary" Rachelle shares.

Rachelle will be on a walking pilgrimage building bridges between people through the power of stories. She left Chicago, Illinois, April 2, 2024 and is walking 754 miles to Montgomery, Alabama, over six months. Rachelle is asking that you host her performance in your town and walk with her, sharing your stories.


LATE: A Love Story is a one-woman show and a true story about Rachelle Zola and the truths she learned too late. Rachelle shares her story and the stories of the people who have opened their hearts to her. LATE: A Love Story is captivating and will leave you thinking about and re-imaging the world we live in.

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LATE: a Love Story Experience

a one-woman show, many stories

Performed by Rachelle Zola along the route of her 754-mile Pilgrimage from Chicago to Montgomery, “LATE: A Love Story” is not just a performance – it’s a raw and honest exploration of truths discovered too late, weaving together narratives of love, loss and healing. 


Rachelle’s powerful performance will leave you captivated, while her journey towards understanding and reconciliation will prompt you to reconsider the world around you. In this performance, Rachelle vulnerably shares her own story, which transitions seamlessly into ten friends sharing their stories steeped in the devastating legacy of the past. Through listening, she continues to take in the profound injustices faced by Black Americans. Each step of her pilgrimage is a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit – a journey toward healing and understanding. Join us in creating a world
where ‘equity for all’ is honored, lived by and celebrated. The performances are free and open to the public. This play is suggested for an audience 16 years and older.

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The Journey Towards Healing Begins with Living from Love. Join the Journey Today...

Meet Rachelle


Would you like to hear another story?Follow the Pilgrimage Day-by-Day on Facebook

I am a 75 years-old white woman who moved to Chicago, Illinois in August 2019. I married the love of my life when I was 25 years old and divorced after 40 years together. I’m an advocate and a free spirit. I’m spontaneous, tenacious, adventurous, and passionate. I love to play and dance. I know how to listen, to be a witness for another’s sorrows and joys, to heal.

It’s a very different life from the one I had. I feel untethered a lot and it’s okay. I’ve lived in Jordan, Mexico and Ecuador. In the U.S. I’ve lived in New York, Virginia, Colorado, Arizona and Illinois.


It’s important for me to acknowledge Melissa Lorraine, a Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Y and Emily Bragg who collaborated with me for a year in creating this play. They brought these stories to life…to be shared with all of you. 

I am the author of "Simple Successes: From Obstacles to Solutions with Special Needs Children", my first public advocacy work which was published in 2006. In 2021, I did a 40 day hunger strike for H.R. 40 – a bill to create a commission to study and develop reparations for African Americans. 

Thank you for choosing to join me on this pilgrimage.

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Walk and Roll

Join Rachelle Along the Route

Photo by Andy Swindler
This is a story of love and reconciliation – you are invited to walk or roll with me on this journey. The Pilgrimage began April 2 in Chicago, IL and will culminate in Montgomery, AL in September 2024. Follow along and share with anyone you know in these towns. My location will be updated regularly. Fill out this form with your location or desired date to join Rachelle, and we'll connect. I am grateful for each step we take together to end racism, and create a world where we can celebrate our differences and embrace our shared humanity. 

Click on the Map to See Location
and Performance Details

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Featured In

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Hearing the different voices from individuals she encountered on her journey was incredibly impactful. These voices and photos that she shared painted a vivid picture of Rachelle's realization that these conversations needed a broader reach. The experience offered by her show is deeply appreciated, showcasing the power of vulnerability, curiosity, relationship building and a commitment to fostering understanding among different communities. I am so grateful I was able to be a part of this experience. 

- Josh E.

Late is the kind of art that troubles the water…stirs the soul…and awakens the spirit…I tossed and turned all night. Rachelle’s vulnerable sharing of stories invites her intimate audience to risk the same—cementing community and cocreating a transformative experience. And it’s such a unique and useful DEI  approach. Imagine what’s possible if we all expand our circle of concern and listen to and care for each other as lovingly as she does!"

- Susan L.

Rachelle Zola’s show is powerful, unique, challenging, raw and vulnerable. But those are just words. Watching the show made me feel connection, grief and hope. Rachelle’s journey reveals so much that is true for me and many people I know, particularly white folks confronting race in America. The way she weaves in a number of other stories (including mine!) is respectful and brings a rich tapestry of voices to be witnessed. I recommend bringing Rachelle to your community. You will grow in ways you can’t possibly predict."

- Andy S.

What People Are Saying

Thanks to the individual volunteers who are giving their time and energy to make this pilgrimage possible.
Mary Nichols-Schleitwiler, Amania Drane, Donna Sue Johnson, Gail Howard, Yvor Stoakley, John and Polly Boyle, John Alan Boryk, Laurie Swindler, Lisa Rogers, Debbie Unterfranz and Sandy Knight. Through your action, you inspire others. 

If you've donated time or resources to LATE and do not see your name here, please let us know and we'll add you. There are so many beautiful people who are doing the work to end systemic racism and engage in crucial conversations.

Gather with the community each week online - REGISTER HERE.
Sign up for the email list to find out what's coming up and ways to support.

Special Thanks to Individuals Who Are Supporting

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