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Roland "Commander" Sykes
June 1st, 1953 - March 10th, 2008

Wizard, Bit Twiddler, Philosopher, Teacher, and most fun of all...
The Bus Driver for ADAPT
Photo: Roland Sykes

From: Jodi James

I first met Roland a couple of years ago at my first ADAPT action in D.C.  I was a little nervous with it being my first action.  Luckily, Roland was the first one I met at the action when I got to ride in the Big White Bus.  I saw immediately that this was a man of wisdom and someone that could teach me a lot.  Not only was he all those things, but he became a mentor.  He drove the bus to Indiana to help us with our mess here.  He drove a bunch of us to Indianapolis and encouraged us as we took over the Governor's office.  All the way down, I got to sit beside him and listen as he gave me encouraging words and taught me how to advocate.  Later, he sat with me and Ramona in Teresa Torres' living room and helped us strategize for how to turn things around in Indiana.  He shared stories of the disability rights movement and I knew at that time that I was having a once in a lifetime moment with a true leader.

I will be forever grateful for the time that I got to spend with Roland.  I will use what he taught me so that his legacy of advocacy for people with disabilities will continue on.  Thank you, Roland, for all you did for me and for the people whose lives you touched both directly and indirectly.

Jodi James

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