Van Jones: Fighting for Social and Environmental Equality
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“Leaders manage the dream. All leaders have the capacity to create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then to translate that vision into reality.” (Bennis, 188) There have been many visionary civil rights leaders in the history of the United States such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, Reverend Al Sharpton and Barack Obama. Recently the most promising civil rights leader is Van Jones. Van Jones sets himself apart from these other influential leaders by merging his enthusiasm for social equality and his passion for environmental activism. Van Jones believes that combining these two issues is central for alleviating some of the issues of injustice plaguing America. In our Communicating Leadership course we learned of key communication styles as identified by Warren Bennis, through his book Becoming A Leader. Van Jones demonstrates understanding of the main themes discussed in Becoming A Leader, such as understanding the basics of leadership, knowing the world, and forging the future attributable to the impact he has made in America through activism.
Van Jones is renowned worldwide, as a result of being a forerunner in human rights and clean energy economy. He was born in 1968 in rural town in Tennessee, where he was instilled with the values of education and faith. These values instilled upon him by his family, has followed him into adulthood, and has allowed him to attain many achievements. He embodies the leadership styles as expressed in Bennis (2009), by understanding the basics of leadership, and knowing the world, which gives him the ability to forge the future.
Van Jones encompasses all of the ingredients of basic leadership as characterized by Benni...
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