Dr. Clarence B. Jones
Dr. Clarence B. Jones was born January 8, 1931 to parents who were domestic workers. He became valedictorian of Palmyra High School in Palmyra NJ in 1949 and received a scholarship to Columbia University. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Columbia he received his Bachelor of Laws degree from Boston University School of Law. In 2017, the library at Palmyra High School was named the Clarence B. Jones Library and the Dr. Clarence B. Jones Institute for Social Advocacy was founded in his honor.
In a distinguished and heralded career, Clarence B. Jones served as political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., joined Sanford I. Weill and Arthur Levitt, Jr. in Carter, Berlind & Weill, Inc. as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), becoming the “first African American “ partner in a Wall Street investment banking firm, has been twice recognized as Fortune Magazine’s “Business Man of the Month,” and founded successful financial, corporate and media-related ventures. He has also provided strategic legal and financial consulting services to several governments around the world including The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Zambia.Read More
Dr. Jones has received numerous state and national awards recognizing his significant contributions to American society. Through his work in the civil rights movement, he has dramatically impacted the course of American history. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, AL. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. He assisted Dr. King in the drafting of his celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that he delivered at the March On Washington, August 28th 1963. In September 1971, he again found himself at the center of history-in-the-making when, at the request of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller; he was requested to help negotiate an end to the historic Attica prison inmate rebellion.
Dr. Jones has been the subject of numerous television and radio interview programs, appearing in such notable media vehicles as CNN, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show, NY1’s One-on-One with Budd Mishkin, NPR radio, BBC UK (radio and TV), CBS local and National, The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, Canadian Broadcasting, Alitjd Wat Dutch TV, the Charlie Rose Show, AL Jazeera, Sirius XM”s the Bob Edwards Show, and featured in articles in the Washington Post, USA Today, Vanity Fair, UK Sunday Mirror, Time, Ebony and Jet Magazines, Le Temp, Geneva, Switzerland and several publications in Canada, the UK, France, Ukraine and Ireland. He was part of The March, a documentary on the March on Washington, jointly produced by Sundance /BBC/Smoking Dogs/PBS. He took part in a show for a program on The Letter from the Birmingham Jail for Al Jazeera America.
A much requested speaker, he has addressed corporate audiences at Citigroup and the U.S. headquarters of British Petroleum, GE, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, The Limited and Google headquarters and laws firms such as Sullivan &Cromwell and Andrews Kurth, Texas.
He has been the featured speaker at Rutgers University School of Law, The Sciences Po, Paris, and The American Institute at Oxford University, The British Library, the Bristol Book Fair, and the Aye Write Book Fair in Glasgow. He has spoken at Veterans Administrations Hospitals, The California African-American Association of School Superintendents, the New York Public Library, the NYC 92nd Street “Y”, the New Albany Community Foundation, Columbus, OH.
Dr. Jones has been recognized for his illustrious career with honors awarded by a wide variety of distinguished organizations, including:
- Selected by Time Magazine in 1972 as one of 100 Future Leaders of America
- Distinguished Public Service Award, African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties
- Letter of Commendation from President William J. Clinton, for work in Birmingham, Alabama on behalf of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement
- Distinguished Honoree of New York’s Community Works Organization and subject of “The Long Walk to Freedom” performed by The Impact Theatre Repertory Company
- Isaiah Award for Lifetime Achievement, American Jewish Congress, New York, 2006
- Dream of Equality Honoree, Asian Americans For Equality, New York, 2006
- Silver Shingle Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, Boston University Law School, 2006
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Black Sports Agent Association, New York, 2006
- Pioneer Award for Business Leadership by U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., 2006
- Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute’s Distinguished Public Service Award, 2007
- Guest of Honor, Office of the Mayor of Paris for the dedication of Public Park in Paris commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 2008
- Inductee, Walk of Fame, Martin Luther King Center, Atlanta, GA, 2008
- Featured Cover Story, January/February, Columbia College Today Alumni Magazine, 2008
- Keynote Speaker, Town Hall of Los Angeles, 2008.
- Holocaust Memorial Center, Detroit, 2009.
- Museum of African American History, Detroit, 2009.
- Keynote Speaker, Michigan State University’s Celebration of Black History Month, 2009
- Keynote Speaker, San Francisco, May 19th, 2011, 35th Anniversary Dinner of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club.
- Georgetown University’s John Thompson “Legacy of the Dream” Award, Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, Washington, DC, January, 2012.
- A keynote speaker and participant at The Twelfth Annual Herzliya Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2012.
- Speaker, National Cathedral School for Boys, Washington, DC, May 2012.
- Keynote Speaker, July 2012, San Diego, CA, LGBT Pride Weekend.
- Akselrad Speaker at Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos, CA, October 2012. A keynote speaker and participant.
- Speaker, Septima Clark Public Charter School, Dec. 2012.
- January 2013 honoree of the African-American Museum of History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, moderated by Wil Haygood, Writer for the Washington Post.
- Keynote Speaker, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, February 2013.
- Speaker, Holocaust Museum, Detroit, Michigan, February 2013.
- Speaker, Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center For Civil Rights, February 2013.
- Detroit, MI 2013 Recipient of “The Architect of Peace Award”, Spilling The Honey Foundation’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
- Keynote Speaker Utah Valley University Annual Commemoration of “Black History Month”, Jan 2013.
- Keynote Speaker, Kansas State University’s Celebration of “Black History Month”, Jan 2013.
- Keynote Speaker, Thatcher School, Ojai, CA, Feb. 2013.
- Keynote Speaker, Univ. of California Davis School of Law, Feb. 2013.
- Guest Lecturer, February 2013, US Embassy, Kiev, Ukraine; Ambassador’s Forum, on “The 21st Century Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
- Keynote speaker and recipient of the Journey for Freedom award from the Birmingham Bar Association and Magic City Bar Association.
- Speaker at Deepak Chopra’s Sages and Scientists Symposium August 2013.
- Recipient of the Hero Legacy Award from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission August 2013.
- Keynote speaker at the 11th Human Rights Gathering for the United Nations, Geneva, August 2013.
- Keynote speaker at Dillard University, September 2013.
- Participant at 92nd Street Y’s An Evening with Bud Mishkin’s 1 on 1 with Julian Bond and Harry Belafonte, October 2013.
- Keynote speaker at Cal Poly Tech, October 2013.
- Keynote speaker at Royal Bank of Scotland’s First Diversity Conference, London, October 2013.
- Guest speaker/participant at the NPR Race Card Project, Washington, DC, November 2013
- Keynote speaker at Disney Imagineering in Orlando, FL, Jan. 2014
- Keynote speaker at Florida International University, Miami, FL, Jan. 2014
- Keynote speaker Southeast Missouri State, Cape Girardeau, MO, Jan. 2014
- Keynote speaker Furman University, Greenville SC, Jan. 2014
- Panelist at The Detroit Association Of Black Organization 35th Annual State Of The Race Forum, Feb. 2014
- Honored by The Consulate General of Israel in NY, The Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, The Jewish National Fund at the Convent Baptist Church, NY, Feb. 2014
- Keynote Speaker Celebration 66th Anniversary of Israel, May 6th, 2014, Charles Schultz Museum, San Francisco, CA.
- Participating Panelist, Commemoration 50th Anniversary” Mississippi Voter Registration Summer of 1964”, June 5th, 2014, Temple Emanuel, San Jose, CA
- Recipient of the 10th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference & Law Fair Legendry Jurist Award, Houston, October 25, 2014
- Keynote speaker at Northwestern Law School, Chicago, October 30th, 2014
- Panelist for the Andrew Goodman Foundation Awards, NYC, November 17, 2014
- Keynote speaker, Sierra Health Foundation, Sacramento, December 5, 2014
- Keynote speaker Cedar Sinai, Los Angeles, January 19, 2015
- Keynote speaker University of Central Florida, Orlando, January 22, 2015
- Keynote speaker Fairfield University, CT, February 4, 2015
- Honored by President Barack Obama, White House Oval Office, Feb, 2015
- Keynote speaker Cayuga County Prosecutor’s Office, February 20, 2015
- Keynote speaker MOAD, San Francisco, February 27, 2015
- Panelist at Mishkan Israel Congregation, Selma, March 8, 2015
- Keynote speaker UCSC, Santa Cruz, May 4, 2015
- Keynote speaker Indika Alliance, Minneapolis, June 17 2015
- Commencement speaker Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, June 20, 2015
- Panelist March On Washington Film Festival, (MOWFF), DC, July 21, 2015
- Civil Rights Ambassador, Andrew Goodman Foundation, Vote Everywhere, NJ, August 2015
- Keynote speaker Communications Network, San Diego, October 2, 2015
- Keynote speaker The Grand Lodge, DC, October 10, 2015
- Panelist, Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series, Oakland, November 7, 2015
- Keynote speaker Oklahoma City Business Ethics Consortium, OK, November 12, 2015
- Keynote speaker at Northern California Grant makers, San Francisco, January 13, 2016
- Keynote speaker at The Pingrey School, Basking Ridge, NJ, January 15, 2016
- Keynote speaker at Cedar Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, January 18, 2016
- Keynote speaker at The San Francisco School, San Francisco, February 4, 2016
- Keynote speaker at Fenwick and West, Mountain View, February 18, 2016
- Speaker at Malibu Jewish Center, Malibu, February 19, 2016
- Speaker at IKAR, Los Angeles, February 20, 2016
- Panelist at Malibu Film Festival, February 20, 2016Keynote speaker at Georgetown University Law School Lecture Series, Washington DC, February 25, 2016
- Panelist for MOWFF April 15,2016
- Appeared in Film and wrote script for ABN AMBRO/Netherlands
- Keynote speaker for Project Victory, Santa Cruz, June 4, 2016
- Keynote speaker Wells Fargo, Charlotte NC, June 7, 2016
- Recipient of Human Dignity Ward by the YMCA Metropolitan Los Angeles, Jan 2017.
- Keynote speaker, World Headquarters, Citigroup, Inc., NYC Feb 2017
- Recipient of Proclamation from Mayor and City Council, Palo Alto, CA for distinguished public service, Feb. 13th, 2017
- Recipient of Proclamation from the Mayor and City Council, Palmyra, New Jersey for distinguished public service, June 6, 2017.
- Communications Network established the Clarence B. Jones Impact Award, September 2017.
Dr. Jones has served on the prestigious boards of The Impact Repertory Theater & Dance Co. and The Theatre Development Fund NYC, the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, NY. He is on the boards of Evolve, The Andrew Goodman Foundation and Indika Alliance. He serves on the Advisory Board of The Communications Network, Inc.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College, Columbia University as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University’s School of Law and a Certificate from The New York Institute of Finance and the NASD for his Allied Membership in the NYSE. Additionally, he has an Honorary Doctorate in Communications from Allegheny College in Allegheny, PA, Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, Drew University, Madison, NJ, Lincoln University, PA and the University of San Francisco.
Dr. Jones has twice taught his course “From Slavery to Obama”, at Stanford University’s School of Continuing Studies Master of Liberal Arts Program. He continues to lecture at Stanford. Since the fall of 2012 he teaches a reconfigured 15-week version of the same course, to undergraduates in the College of Arts & Sciences, University of San Francisco. In conjunction with USF he has developed USF’s on line course, “From Slavery to Obama-Renewing The Promise of Reconstruction” In Spring 2013 he taught a new course he created for USF’s graduate school of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, “The Art of Advocacy Speech Writing”.
In 2017 Dr. Jones commenced visiting and speaking at young men and women’s prisons
He is co-author of “WHAT WOUD MARTIN SAY?” 2008, “BEHIND THE DREAM-The Making of the Speech That Transformed A Nation”, 2011 and the audio version of the book which was released on August 20th, 2013 by the University of San Francisco. Go to (www.usfca.edu/diversity/behind_the_dream). He also co-authored an E-book, UPRISING: Understanding Attica, Revolution and the Incarceration State. Dr. Jones posts a regular column in the Huffington Post. He is also writing his autobiography: “A Pencil and A Dollar Bill- Memoirs Of An African-American Journey From the Depression to The Election of Barack Obama as President of the United States”.
He currently resides in Palo Alto, CA where he continues to write and lecture.
Valerie R. Still - President
Valerie R. Still, a 2018 Jefferson Award honoree, has lived a life of public service. Born and raised in New Jersey she obtained her BS degree in Animal Science/Pre-Vet at the University of Kentucky, a MA in African and African American Studies and is currently finishing her PH. D in Sports Humanities at The Ohio State University where she was a Graduate Research and Teaching Associate.
Valerie was among the first group of female athletes to receive an athletic scholarship shortly after Title IX was passed, breaking down traditional sexist ideology about women and sports. She was a member of the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team from 1979-83. She led UK in becoming one of the nation’s top programs and nationally ranked. Valerie became a three-time All-American and still holds the University of Kentucky career records (men and women) in scoring (2,763) and rebounding (1,525). She was also a member of the USA National team.Read More
Valerie enjoyed resounding professional success on two continents. After her collegiate career she was a star in the women’s professional basketball league in Italy. She lived in Europe for 15 years. She led the league in scoring several years and won an LEGA championship with Pool Comense in 1991 while becoming one of the country’s most popular athletes. She hosted her own television show and was a TV commentator for men’s basketball. She returned to the USA and in 1996 played in the American Basketball League (ABL), a newly formed professional league for women. She won two world championships with the Columbus Quest and was MVP for both championship series. Later she joined the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), playing with the Washington Mystics. After retiring from playing she became a WNBA assistant coach with the Mystics and later with the Orlando Miracle. She also coached high school basketball. In 2018 she was nominated for both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1998 she founded the Valerie Still Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists youth in their development, and in particular, helps young girls grow into healthy, vibrant women through innovative programs.
Always an outspoken advocate of social reform in regard to race, gender, class and sexuality, Valerie wrote a weekly column for one of Italy’s major newspapers, “L’Unita,” and was an advice columnist for the WNBA’s web site for young girls. In 2012, she became one of four female hosts of a Time Warner Cable groundbreaking weekly television sports show, “Our Season” which focused specifically on issues regarding women and sports.
Valerie is a member of an African American Legacy Family. Her ancestors include abolitionist William Still (known as the “father of the Underground Railroad) and Dr. James Still (William’s older brother), who with only three months of formal education became a well-known and highly successful 19th century physician. In 2005, Valerie began a campaign and petitioned the State of New Jersey to save her great-great grandfather, Dr. Still’s 19th century medical office in Medford, New Jersey. In 2006, it became the first and only state-owned African American historic site in New Jersey.
She is a published author and co-owner of STILL Publications. The first two volume of Still Alive on the Underground Railroad: Recollections of an American Family, a youth series based on her family history, was released in 2012 and 2013. Her memoirs, entitled Playing Black and Blue: Still I Rise was released April 2018.
Valerie was a cast member of the reality TV show, “Mom’s Got Game” which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2014. She now resides in New Jersey. Her son is a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.
Brian J. McBride - Vice-President
Brian J. McBride is currently Superintendent of Palmyra School District since 2012. Prior to Palmyra, he was Superintendent for the New Hanover Township School District in Wrightstown, NJ from 2009-2012, and Director of Adult Basic Skills at Salem County Vocational Technical School in Woodstown, NJ from 2008- 2009. His seven years of classroom teaching experience encompassed the elementary, middle, and high school levels which included teaching in the Clementon School District from 2002-2005 and in the Monroe Township School District from 2005-2008. Prior to serving in public education he worked for Aetna Insurance as a Corporate Educator and Information Analyst from 1998- 2001.Read More
Brian is proud to have served in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard from 1989- 1998. During his military service he amassed nearly 1800 flying hours as an In-flight Refueling Technician aboard the KC-135 refueling jet and attended flight school at NAS Pensacola as a student navigator. He served as both a Non-Commissioned Officer and a Commissioned Officer and honorably left the military in 2001 to pursue other opportunities.
Presently, he is doctoral student at Stockton University and anticipates graduating in May of 2019 with a Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership. In 2007, he received a M.Ed. in Executive Educational Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University. In 1996 he received a B.A. in Political Science from Stockton College in NJ.
Brian was born and raised in New Jersey and currently resides in Williamstown with his lovely wife, Kim, and two children. He is an active member in the community and has been serving as a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America since 2007.