Civil Rights Activist Peggy Preacely was a prominent figure in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, whose members were heavily involved in the 1960s freedom movement in the South.
Preacely says she had to learn how to “not react.”
“Growing up in Harlem I had to know how to fight and I had to know how to navigate the streets," she says. "My parents taught us to treat people with dignity so, depending upon who I was with and what the incidents were, I learned that if you treat people in a different way sometimes the outcome is different.”
Today, Preacely shares that same message with young people across the country, encouraging them to use social media as a positive tool.
“We didn’t have cell phones when we were working in the South and maybe some of our fellow soldiers in the nonviolent army would be alive had we had a cell phone to call for help,” she says.
Preacely says bringing together the wisdom of the older and younger generations is more important than ever. She is encouraged by the work being done in schools and communities to address such issues as sex trafficking and bullying.