SNCC 50th Anniversary – Vol. 01 – Opening Plenary

SNCC 50th Anniversary Conference
Volume 1 – Opening Plenary

Chuck McDew (Former SNCC Chairman)
Charles Meeker (Raleigh Mayor)
Timothy Jenkins (SNCC Executive Committee Member)
Judy Richardson (SNCC Field Secretary)
Hollis Watkins (SNCC Field Staff)
Julian Bond (SNCC Communications Director)
William Barber (President NC-NAACP)

SNCC Advisor, Timothy Jenkins opens the conference explaining that this is not simply a gathering of reminiscence, but a coming together to provide “missing chapters in history” to a new generation of freedom fighters. Following Jenkins is a vivid and substantive description of SNCC’s birth and impact given by Professor Julian Bond, retired NAACP Board of Directors Chair, who participated in SNCC’s 1960 founding conference. An important lesson that emerges from this opening session is that while SNCC Veterans do not define themselves as heroes and heroines, serious and effective struggle requires commitment, and commitment often involves risk. This point was underscored by a moving videotaped statement made by SNCC member Jimmy Travis who survived a machine gun ambush on a Mississippi highway in 1963.