CNN’s Van Jones named as The Crime Report’s 2017 Justice Media Trailbazer

Print More

Van Jones

Van Jones

Van Jones

CNN political commentator Van Jones has been selected as the 2017 Justice Media Trailblazer, an award given annually by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Crime Report to honor individuals in the media or media-related fields who have advanced national understanding on the 21st century challenges of criminal justice.

Jones, co-founder of #cut50, has been among the country’s leading voices for reducing mass incarceration. Among his other noteworthy initiatives, Jones’ advocacy organization, Dream Corps,  connects tech sector career opportunities to under-represented people via #YesWeCode and works toward improving environmental justice via #GreenForAll.

“He’s a brilliant example of a change agent who has been able to use the power of the media to change minds and provoke a national conversation about the possibilities of reform in a criminal justice system that most experts agree is riddled with inequities,” said Stephen Handelman, executive editor of The Crime Report, and director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay.

In addition to his criminal justice activism, Jones has been prominent in environmental causes and efforts to combat racism.  He is a founder of the Ella Baker Center and Color of Change. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 1Sky, the National Apollo Alliance, Social Venture Network, Rainforest Action Network, Bioneers, Julia Butterfly Hill’s “Circle of Life” organization, and Free Press. He currently serves on the board of trustees at Demos.

A former Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress and a former Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, his work in the media has been widely recognized with awards from The Root, Ebony, and Rolling Stone,among others.   In 2009 he was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Jones was presented with the Trailblazer award on Feb 16, 2017 in a special dinner at John Jay College, following the announcement of the winners of the 12th Annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim prizes for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting, called the “Pulitzers” of criminal justice journalism.

Past Justice Trailblazer winners include David Simon of “The Wire”, “Treme”, and “Homeland”; Piper Kerman, originator of “Orange is the New Black”; NPR’s Maria Hinojosa, producer of Latino USA; and New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.




3 thoughts on “CNN’s Van Jones named as The Crime Report’s 2017 Justice Media Trailbazer

    • Thanks for asking Edna! The next John Jay/HF Guggenheim Symposium will focus on The State of Criminal Justice in 2017 and Beyond, with panels exploring violence, policing, mass incarceration and forensics, among others. Dates are Feb 16-17. Please watch TCR for further details—The Editors

  1. Van: We would love to host members of the BLM group and/or any organization that we can gather in our troubled city of Chicago. We are African American and run a licensed B&B in Chicago located just south of the city- in an area that should have progressed much faster than we have. Our business should be thriving because we sit 3 miles away from the largest convention in North America. Quite frankly, violent crimes are killing the narrative about who we are as Black folks, life on the entire south side and Chicago in general. Public officials, the public, elected officials and even our own people have grown indifferent to how violent crimes and the people who shoot guns kill more than gang bangers and other people. Bad people kill everything around this side of the city- politically, socially and especially economically- where we need jobs more than ever. A fix seems no where in site. I’ve done some studies and have learned so much about what we do here. I know we can work together on a fix. I’d like to host some BLM as a summit early in the first quarter of 2017- I’ll host and allow lodging for free! I’d love some suggestions worth further exploration. We are rated #1 but our profits and growth is stymied- big time. Help?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *