Van Jones is a prominent name in American broadcast industry. He is a qualified non-practicing attorney, a news commentator, and also an author. He is a philanthropist and also served Barack Obama as the special adviser for Green Jobs.
Van Jones: early life
Van Jones’ bio reveals that he has a twin sister named Angela. They were born in 1968 in Jackson, Tennessee. His mother Loretta Jean was a teacher in high school. His father Willie Anthony Jones worked as a Principal at a middle school. According to Jones, in his childhood, he was bookish and bizarre. His father held a prestigious position at the church and Van Jones used to accompany him to religious conferences.
He was a fan of the Kennedy brothers and had their pictures in his room. He studied at the Jackson Central-Merry High School and graduated in 1986. He further joined University of Tennessee, Martin and completed his B.S. in communication and Political Science. As he studied, he also worked as an intern at various local eminent newspaper houses. He also founded or assisted launch several campus-based publications.
He studied law at the Yale Law School and also did legal observer job at that time. The various political incidents at that time moved Van Jones. He got his J.D. degree in 1993 and moved to SF.
Van has always fought for civil and human rights. He had a major role in the start of a hotline to report cases of police abuse. He said:
“We designed a computer database, the first of its kind in the country, that allows us to track problem officers, problem precincts, problem practices, so at the click of a mouse we can now identify trouble spots and troublemakers. This has given us a tremendous advantage in trying to understand the scope and scale of the problem. Now, obviously, just because somebody calls and says, ‘Officer so-and-so did something to me,’ doesn’t mean it actually happened, but if you get two, four, six phone calls about the same officer, then you begin to see a pattern. It gives you a chance to try and take affirmative steps.”
In 1996, he founded the NGO called Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He fought for legal and political reforms.
He also was deeply concerned about environmental deterioration and worked for this cause. He said:
“If we really wanted to help our communities escape the cycle of incarceration, we had to start focusing on job, wealth and health creation.”
He also launched the Green For All NGO. Talking on its one year progress, Van said:
“One year later, Green for All is real – and we have helped put green collar jobs on the map… We have a long way to go. But today we have a strong organization to help get us there.”
He was a big supporter of Barack Obama and worked on various projects with him. He was a senior member of The Center for American Progress. He got prestigious appointments at the Princeton University. He launched Rebuild the Dream and also Co-hosted CNN’s debate show called Crossfire. He was appointed President of The Dream Corps which is supposedly a “social enterprise and incubator for powerful ideas and innovations designed to uplift and empower the most vulnerable in our society.”
He found support in his projects from various celebrities and also was part of other socially-effective ventures. He has several honors and awards and is also a member of many boards in America.
He has a net worth of $ 1.5 million.
Van Jones and his married life and wife
He is a married man with a wife named Jana Carter and the couple has two children. They are Cabral and Mattai Jones. His wife is the daughter of the younger brother of Jimmy Carter.