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Van Jones: Fighting For Social And Environmental Equality

1654 words - 7 pages

“Leaders manage the dream. All leaders have the capacity to create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then to translate that vision into reality.” (Bennis, 188) There have been many visionary civil rights leaders in the history of the United States such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, Reverend Al Sharpton and Barack Obama. Recently the most promising civil rights leader is Van Jones. Van Jones sets himself apart from these other influential leaders by merging his enthusiasm for social equality and his passion for environmental activism. Van Jones believes that combining these two issues is central for alleviating some of the issues of injustice plaguing America. In our Communicating Leadership course we learned of key communication styles as identified by Warren Bennis, through his book Becoming A Leader. Van Jones demonstrates understanding of the main themes discussed in Becoming A Leader, such as understanding the basics of leadership, knowing the world, and forging the future attributable to the impact he has made in America through activism.
Van Jones is renowned worldwide, as a result of being a forerunner in human rights and clean energy economy. He was born in 1968 in rural town in Tennessee, where he was instilled with the values of education and faith. These values instilled upon him by his family, has followed him into adulthood, and has allowed him to attain many achievements. He embodies the leadership styles as expressed in Bennis (2009), by understanding the basics of leadership, and knowing the world, which gives him the ability to forge the future.
Van Jones encompasses all of the ingredients of basic leadership as characterized by Bennis (2009), such as guiding vision, passion, integrity, trust, curiosity, and daring. (2009) Bennis states that “true leaders are not born, but made, and usually self-made” (35).Van Jones is the co-founder of three successful nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green for All. He is a Yale educated attorney, and has worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House Administration in 2009. (Van Jones Biography) Also, Time Magazine has named Jones one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Currently Van Jones is the co-host of Crossfire on CNN and continues his fight for racial and environmental equality. (Van Jones Biography) The basic leadership qualities that Van Jones has acquired through his life experiences has allowed him to make an impact in environmental and social equality. Van Jones has made himself into an extraordinary leader and has accomplished many feats as a young leader.
Van Jones has a vision for America and has helped produce this idea through his work with the Obama Administration. Being the green job advisor for Barack Obama he managed $80 billion in green recovery spending. Bennis (2009) describes guiding vision as “the leader has a...

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