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September 19, 2010


Lecia J. Brooks

Dear Mr. Jenks,
Thank you for writing about your experience at the Civil Rights Memorial Center. I, of course, think it is a very special place. Sounds like you really felt the power of it, too.
The names of those who took the pledge and added their names to the Wall of Tolerance randomly appear every 4-5 days. Now Stu Jenks will appear as the name of another person, unknown to the next visitor, who is committed to work for justice everyday.
Thank you.
Lecia J. Brooks
Director, Civil Rights Memorial Center


Thanks for this article, it is a great tribute to great men. I hope someday to see this memorial.

Medgar Evers was recently featured as Hero of the Week over at

Stu Jenks

Thanks. I'll check out your website Moral Heroes. Peace, Stu


Thanks, Stu.

My mom, who grew up with racist attitudes, told me that when I was three years old, we were at the St Croix River beach, and I saw my first Black person, another three year old. We gazed at each other in wonder for several minutes, then took each other's hand and toddled off to play. Mom and the other little girl's mother both smiled.

I went to an excellent high school, where we had few kids of other races, but those were good students and socially accepted and very popular. Our senior social study teacher invited a Black kid from a school in an area that had racial problems to speak to our class. The kid said something about how we had a kid of another race right in the class. We all looked around in confusion. He pointed out Tony Chu. "Oh", someone said, echoing my thoughts, "No, that's Tony." Tony was just another student like the rest of us.

My first encounter with racial problems came when I was a student at the Univ of Mn. I was on the stairs of the student center, rummaging around in my bag to see if I had enough money to take a bus home, or would have to hitchhike. A couple of Black kids came down past me and said something I didn't catch at first. I just smiled at them. After they passed on, what they said filtered in,"Whitey countin' all her money." I was shocked and hurt. They didn't know anything about me! Yet they felt entitled to slam me. All the assumptions we make.

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