This week on All Ears Abby welcomes CNN host and New York Times’ best-selling author Van Jones. Van talks about being a young civil rights lawyer in Oakland at the time of the Rodney King trial, and how it directly influenced his progressive activism of the last 30 years. Van says that having children made him come around to the belief that fixing the system is more productive than tearing it down, and that finding common ground is the key to systemic change. Van and Abby also discuss white fragility, Democrats’ past willingness to support “tough on crime” laws and mass incarceration, and the fact that Van is a 9th generation American, but the first person in his family to have all his rights fully recognized by the government. Learn more about Van’s extensive body of work in criminal justice reform though his organization REFORM Alliance.
CEO of REFORM Alliance, CNN host, and NY Times best-selling author
Van Jones is the CEO of REFORM Alliance, and CNN host and political commentator. Jones has been a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than 25 years. He has founded and led many thriving social enterprises, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and the Dream Corps – a social justice accelerator that houses #YesWeCode, #GreenForAll, and #cut50, which recently led the charge to pass the FIRST STEP Act (a bipartisan Federal bill that the New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation).