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Civil Rights Activist Roscoe Jones Sr. Passes the Torch to Community Schools Youth

Civil Rights Activist Roscoe Jones Sr. moved some audience members to tears as he recounted his experience on the morning of June 21, 1964, when he was just 17 years old. Mr. Jones agreed to go to Philadelphia with Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, the Mississippi civil rights workers' but due to a scheduling conflict he could not make it. All three activists were found dead and their story was told in the 1988 Mississippi Burning movie. Roscoe Jones seemingly missed death. He used his story to begin the moderation of the youth panel, lead by Sarai Antoine, Wendy Garcia-Torres, Elanna Jones-Turner, Desmond Kirton Jr., and Gema Quetzal. The youth panelist talked about their lived experiences and perspectives. Some of the most memorable quotes were tracked by the audience on Twitter.  
  Before the closing of the plenary Roscoe joined hands with all of the youth and told them he was so impressed with their spirit and vigor that he wanted to pass the torch to them. "I am the last of the generation that started something. I would like for the young people to stand. I want to pass the power to you okay. I want us to hold hands. Young people from the 60’s to you I feel good, I feel fantastic, For a long time I’ve been frustrated I’m saying this from my heart. For a long time I’ve been frustrated because I didn’t know where this country was going. But after listening to you guys, you guys are the future. My job now is to sit back, along with other people and guide you guys along the way. As for today, it’s yours. Make it better for the younger people."

The closing plenary ended with youth panelist, Wendy Garcia-Torres, leading the entire audience by chanting a quote by Asata Shakur, "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

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