2009 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award Honoree
Mr. Jones is a civil rights and environmental justice advocate working to combine solutions to social inequality and environmental injustices. He was recently selected to serve as special advisor for green jobs, enterprise and innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
As the founder of Green for All, a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, he has joined civil rights and environmental justice, long narrowly defined, so that a green economy not only embraces people of color but inner cities, helping to lift the urban disadvantaged out of poverty while enhancing their environment. As co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, Calif., he has championed "books not bars," successfully blocking the construction of a costly and controversial "Super-Jail For Youth," at the same time, helping to reduce California's overall youth prison population by more than 30 percent.
As part of the breakthrough generation of young African American leaders, Mr. Jones has been a pioneer in using e-advocacy to tackle issues of concern for African American communities across the nation. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he helped found ColorOfChange.org, an online advocacy organization that, with more than 100,000 members, is now the nation's biggest internet-based approach advocating on black issues. Not surprisingly, his efforts have attracted local and national attention. LCCR is pleased to honor Van Jones with the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award for his dedication and visionary approach to social and economic justice.