Jerdene Alston

Jerdene Alston became a change-maker in the local civil rights movement when she was still just a teenager. She recalls getting involved after seeing a flyer at her church advertising a meeting for the movement. It was at that first meeting that she began to learn about discrimination in Chapel Hill and how she could begin to eradicate it. As a freshman at North Carolina Central University, Ms. Alston began participating in demonstrations and sit-ins at segregated local establishments. At civil rights organizing meetings, she trained in nonviolence and learned how to act during the demonstrations. Over the following years, she was arrested several times for her courage to speak out against racism. Ms. Alston remains an advocate for her community.

Ms. Alston remembers the training she received for non-violent resistance:

Interviews conducted by Danita Mason-Hogans at Chapel Hill Public Library, 2019