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(CNN) – Outrage over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, have spread nation wide, and the protests are transforming a generation of activists and advocates, says CNN "Crossfire" co-anchor Van Jones.
"You have a generation being squeezed now between street violence and police violence. They're saying, 'listen, we've got to do something and we can't keep going the same way,'" Jones said, noting several incidents of violence against young, unarmed black men, as well as violence in Chicago, that has made headlines in recent months.
"This generation is on the bubble right now, and I've been very encouraged by seeing groups like Color of Change, Million Hoodies, the local group More, Organization for Black Struggle telling people you can make a difference, and this is not right the way you're being treated," said Jones.
The challenge for activists on the ground in Ferguson has been a lack of communication from police, says a local pastor.
"Every day we come out here we have to figure out what the new rules are," said Pastor Robert White. "We're not being debriefed and we're trying our best to help the police officers."
"We're trying to figure out how can we relay the information ... to the protesters so we can can understand how we can go about this thing peacefully," he said.
For more of our interviews with CNN's Van Jones and Pastor Robert White, check out the video above.