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Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Van Jones, keynote speaker for Black History Month
Van Jones Is Keynote Speaker for Black History Month Feb. 19

Van Jones, a globally recognized, award-winning activist for human rights and former White House green jobs adviser, will give the keynote address for Black History Month at Old Dominion.

Jones, one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2009 and author of two best-selling books about the green economy, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center.

The talk, sponsored by ODU's Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR), is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a book signing by Jones, a constant innovator in the quest to create a sustainable, environmentally beneficial economy.

The campus is hosting a diverse roster of events to celebrate Black History Month throughout the month of February. The national theme of Black History Month is "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington."

On the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (Jan. 1, 1863) and the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr.-led March on Washington (Aug. 27, 1963), Jones' visit to ODU emphasizes how America rebuilds the dream, said Alicia Phillips, OIR's associate director for intercultural initiatives.

"A social entrepreneur focused on environmental justice and civil rights, Jones has already made a tremendous impact on American culture," Phillips said. "He is the co-founder of four nonprofit justice organizations - Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, Green for All and Rebuild the Dream. He is a model of what it is to lead from the heart. A prominent change agent of this generation, Jones inspires us to take a solutions-focused approach to addressing the social problems. The quest for creative and sustainable solutions is one that we must all embark on."

The Old Dominion University Libraries are celebrating Black History Month with an exhibit in the Learning Commons at Perry Library. The exhibit celebrates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which set the United States on the path of ending slavery. "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality" can be viewed throughout the month of February.

For more information about other Black History Month activities at ODU, contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at 683-4406 or, or visit

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