Civil, human rights leader Ben Jealous to deliver Barbara Jordan lecture Oct. 11

October 07, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ben Jealous, civil and human rights leader, former president and CEO of the NAACP, venture capitalist, and author, will present the Africana Research Center’s annual Barbara Jordan lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium.

His lecture, titled, “Beating Injustice: Police Killings, Mass Incarceration, and Making Real Change Happen Right Now,” reveals the inside history of more than 50 years of civil rights battles, both known and unknown. He will offer insight into what our nation's greatest change agents have in common, and show how we can all dramatically increase our capacity to make the world a better place.

A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous was named to Forbes and TIME magazines’ “Top 40 under 40” lists, and he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Jealous' new book, “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding,” features personal essays from prominent figures in the black community.

The youngest president in NAACP history, he began his career at age 18 opening mail at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Jealous has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality, and end mass incarceration.

Under his leadership from 2008 to 2013, the NAACP grew to be the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, and became the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. Jealous' leadership at the NAACP included bringing environmentalist organizations into the fight to protect voting rights, and convincing well-known conservatives to join the NAACP.

Prior to leading the NAACP, he spent 15 years as a journalist and community organizer. While at Mississippi's Jackson Advocate newspaper, his investigations were credited with exposing corruption at a state penitentiary and proving the innocence of a black farmer framed for arson. While at Amnesty International, he led successful efforts to outlaw prison rape, expose the increasing trend of children being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and draw attention to expanded racial profiling in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Co-sponsors of this event include the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Council of College Multicultural Leadership, Department of African American Studies, Department of Philosophy, Institute for the Arts & Humanities, McCourtney Institute for Democracy, Richards Civil War Era Center, and the Rock Ethics Institute.

  • Ben Jealous

    Ben Jealous

    IMAGE: Courtesy Ben Jealous
Last Updated October 07, 2016