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Distinguished Speaker Series

Annual Presentation by a Leader in the Field of Liberal Arts


Co-Host of CNN's Crossfire Van Jones is 2015 AHSS Distinguished Speaker

American Dream 2.0: Creating an Economy That Works for Everyone
Presented by Van Jones
Tuesday, April 14, 2015Van Jones of CNN's Crossfire is the 2015 AHSS Distinguished Speaker.
Reception 5:30 p.m. • Lecture 7 p.m.

“Imagine a new economy, where the founding principle of our country — liberty and justice for all — is deeply rooted in our economic philosophy and design, where businesses can profit alongside flourishing communities. To achieve this prosperity, we need to transform our ideas and understanding around ownership and wealth — transcending consumerism, transforming corporations and revitalize communities.”  Van Jones

At this lecture, Van Jones will argue that we need to build institutions that expand and unite these seemingly small and disparate strategies. He will discuss how the new economy is not a revolution  it’s an evolution, a long-term plan that re-imagines capitalism with intent and creates businesses with a conscious design that respects communities and the environment.

Co-host of CNN’s Crossfire, Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. A Yale-educated attorney, Jones has written two New York Times best sellers: The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. In 2009, Jones worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House. There, he helped run the interagency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.

Jones’s work has been acknowledged by a number of prestigious institutions and publications. His awards and honors include being named to the Rolling Stones “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done” in 2012, TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2009, Fast Company’s “12 Most Creative Minds on Earth” and Essence Magazine’s “25 Most Inspiring African Americans” in 2008. Jones also served as distinguished visiting professor at Princeton University.


Past Distinguished Speakers:

  • Wade Davis, 2014
  • David Sanger, 2012
  • Julia Alvarez, 2011