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Van Jones, Green Jobs Advocate and Civil Rights Activist, to Give Pomona College Distinguished Lecture

Van Jones, environmental advocate, civil rights activist and attorney

Van Jones, environmental advocate, civil rights activist and attorney, will kick-off the 2010-2011 Pomona College Distinguished Speaker Series: Change Makers, on Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. in Edmunds Ballroom (Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). The title of his talk is “Beyond Green Jobs: The Next American Economy and the Politics of Hope.” The event is open to the public, and there is no cost to attend.

While best known for his promotion of green jobs, Jones has spent nearly two decades fashioning solutions to some of urban America's toughest problems. He is the founder of three non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green for All. His first book, The Green Collar Economy (2008), reached no. 12 on The New York Times best-seller list.

He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law in 2007 and served as the green jobs advisor in the President Obama White House in 2009. The Green Jobs Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." Under the Obama Administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally.

Jones is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green For All. He also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

He has been recognized for his work with several awards including being named by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009; by Essence Magazine's as one of the 25 most-inspiring African Americans in 2008; by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader”; and the 2010 NAACP President’s Award.

Jones was born in Tennessee, earned his Bachelor’s degree from University of Tennesse Martin and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

The Pomona College Distinguished Lecture Series was established with a generous gift from the Broe family. David Plouffe, Pres. Barack Obama’s campaign manager, inaugurated the series in March 2009 and was followed by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2010.