Political Activist to Speak at Pitzer Commencement

Van Jones will speak at Pitzer College’s 50th commencement ceremony. Jones, a CNN political analyst, is also known for his work as a civil rights
and environmental advocate.

“I think that Van Jones is going to be an excellent keynote speaker, and I am excited for him to come to Pitzer,” Senior Class President Kyle Roland PZ ’14 said.

Jones was selected by the senior class in several rounds of voting. Roland said that the senior class was satisfied with the selection process. 

“The senior class voted and had input on every stage in the process,” he said. 

Jones beat out journalist Amy Goodman in a final runoff. 

“I voted for Amy Goodman because I’m a huge fan of Democracy Now! and am interested in public radio and progressive politics,” Arielle Zionts PZ ’14 said. “But [Jones] seems like a good person interested in various types of progress and justice.”

Before becoming a host on CNN’s Crossfire, Jones worked for the Obama
administration as the green jobs adviser, and was instrumental in helping pass
the Green Jobs Act of 2007, which established the term “green jobs” and provided funding for jobs in renewable energy industries. He also helped found two civil rights organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and

think it’s a good choice,” Sophia Baldwin PZ ’14 said. “He embodies many of Pitzer’s values through his
struggle for improved civil and human rights, and through his environmental

an email to the student body, Pitzer President Laura Skandera Trombley praised Jones
and expressed her excitement for the festivities surrounding the college’s 50th
anniversary commencement ceremony.

am thrilled and honored to be able to participate in this historic year at the
College as we look back and honor our past while being mindful of the next 50
years at Pitzer College,” she wrote.

commencement ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 17 at Pitzer’s Stephen L. Glass Commencement Plaza. Jones’ speech and the entire ceremony will be broadcast live on Pitzer’s website.

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