Ben Jealous, the NAACP's future
*Benjamin Jealous was born January 18, 1973. He is an African American Administrator, Journalist and Civil rights Activist.
Benjamin Todd Jealous was born in Pacific Grove, California and grew up in Monterey Peninsula, California. His mother, who is black, met his father, who is white, while teaching junior high school in Baltimore. Jealous graduated from York School in Monterey. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from Columbia College of Columbia University and a master's degree in comparative social research from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes scholar. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and is affiliated with the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter.
He is past a President of the Rosenberg Foundation, a private independent nonprofit venture capital organization. Previously he served as director of the US Human Rights Program at Amnesty International. While there, he focused on issues such as federal legislation against prison rape, racial profiling, and expose the sentencing of children to life without the possibility of parole. He is the lead author of the 2004 report Threat and Humiliation: Racial Profiling, Domestic Security, and Human Rights in the United States, which received coverage by major media outlets in most states and on six continents.
Jealous is a former Executive Director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 black community newspapers. He came to Mississippi as a field organizer on a campaign to stop the state's plan to close two of its three public historically black universities, and convert one of them into a prison. Jealous was Managing Editor of the Jackson Advocate, Mississippi's oldest historically black newspaper. His reporting was credited with exposing corruption amongst high-ranking officials at the state prison in Parchman, and helping to acquit a small farmer who had been wrongfully accused of arson.
Jealous began his career as an organizer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund working on issues of healthcare access. He is a member of the Asia Society as well as a board member of Northern California Grantmakers and the California Council for the Humanities. In May 2008, He was elected president and chief executive officer of the NAACP. He is the youngest ever-national leader of the organization. At the time of his appointment, Jealous lived in Alameda, California, with his wife, Lia Epperson, a law professor at Santa Clara University, and a civil rights attorney, and their daughter, Morgan. In 2009, Jealous received the John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement from Columbia College.
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