Judge Jones recalls landmark decision in accepting Links' highest award


Judge Nathaniel R. Jones remembers Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that outlawed school segregation, and how, a year later, the local chapter of a nonprofit women’s organization formed to help people adjust to major changes the country was about to endure largely because of it.

Nearly 65 years later, the well-respected retired judge found himself receiving that organization’s highest award.

“It was to carry out the transition the country was to face with Brown. Many communities had to rethink what was possible, and Links was instrumental in helping to educate citizens on their obligations as citizens. I associate Links with Brown … and the changes that were possible,” he said about one of the Youngstown Chapter of The Links Inc.’s early goals.

The local women’s service organization was chartered in 1955 to enrich and sustain the culture and survival of those of African ancestry in Mahoning and Trumbull counties while promoting entrepreneurship, philanthropy and community-building, its website says.

Suffice it to say the local Links Inc. chapter also highlighted Judge Jones’ long list of accomplishments and contributions by bestowing upon him the 2019 Black Diamond Legacy Award, the organization’s highest honor, during Saturday’s Black Diamond Leadership Brunch at The Embassy Banquet Centre, 5030 Youngstown-Poland Road.

Acting as master of ceremonies was Ernie Brown Jr., a columnist and regional editor for The Vindicator, who called the 92-year-old judge “a true beacon of success in our community.”

In addition, Mahoning Valley businessman Herb Washington, the event’s honorary chairman, was among about 50 area doctors, lawyers, musicians and other black men who received awards for their entrepreneurship, philanthropy, community contributions and volunteerism, as well as serving as role models and mentors.

Read more about the judge and the event in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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