Ben Jealous serves as president of People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation.
Jealous has decades of experience as a leader, coalition builder and campaigner for social justice. In 2008, he was chosen as the youngest-ever president of the NAACP. During his tenure, he doubled the organization’s budget, grew its online activist base by hundreds of thousands and increased its number of donors eightfold, from 16,000 to 132,000. He also positioned the organization at the forefront of critical social justice issues such as the Trayvon Martin case, the fight against voter ID laws and major protests over the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies. He pushed for the organization to fight more aggressively for marriage equality, led efforts to register 374,000 voters and mobilize 1.2 million new voters to the polls, and worked to pass key legislative accomplishments during President Obama’s first term, most notably the Affordable Care Act.
In 2013, the Baltimore Sun named Jealous Marylander of the Year for his work on marriage equality, abolishing the death penalty and passing the DREAM Act. Jealous was the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Maryland, and most recently served as a partner at Kapor Capital. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and he has taught at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. He’ll be joining us in conversation with Editorial Director Katrina vanden Heuvel to talk about his democracy reform work, which we will be taken up by Congress this session, as well as lessons learned from his family’s multi-generational history of social justice advocacy and how they can be applied today.
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