Articulate, visionary, ambitious and committed are the words that came to mind when I heard Mr. LeAlan Jones speak to my group of High School students during the summer of 2012. Mr. Jones challenged my students to hold themselves accountable for their actions by thinking about their daily activities and habits, and in particular the economic impact of their generations’ behavior. LeAlan told my students that popular culture has led them to “benchmark their lives against a notion that everything is based on here and now instead of preparing for their come up.” My students enjoyed the talk very much and continued discussions on the topic of economics and popular culture all the way back to Champaign.
It was not until after my students approved of his message that I became determined to learn more about this young trailblazer touting about the United States Green Party. See, I was not prepared when I heard him speak; I was not aware of his testimony and his achievements. I still don’t think it has hit me, the accomplishments of LeAlan Jones, a 33-year-old Black male from Chicago with credits that include reporting for the National Public Radio (NPR) at the age of 13, youngest recipient of the George Foster Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize and an author of a book that is listed on Freshmen reading lists throughout the state of Illinois. Yep…I had to know more about the How’s and Why’s of his life. Following our interview I now have more insight on the young Green party candidate that is fighting for his place in the Chicago second congressional district race. More importantly, on a daily basis he is fighting for us, those with more to come.
At 13 LeAlan envisioned that he would be the voice of reason for socio and economic development for his generation. LeAlan implements change with the intent of mending a community whole. Community development should inspire and protect people while harnessing their abilities says LeAlan. Both positive and negative aspects of the community have led to Mr. Jones’ growing achievements. His surroundings are the backdrop for his literary projects and it is what propels his desire to engage politically.
During the interview LeAlan shared that his support system is his mother, whom he developed a relationship with in spite of being a ward of the state. LeAlan’s philosophy on how to discuss healing in suffering communities reflects his values for family and women. LeAlan says: “The women of the community need reinforcements. The men are so marginalized and their participation is not expected in the development of kids. We have to get mothers strong enough. Allowing women to define their roles and giving them the skill set to implement their roles personally, etc. Communities benefit when families are healthy and together.” This framework of addressing our community needs is relevant, in particular in the Chicagoland area due to skyrocketing crime rates and upcoming school closings that are sure to challenge the city’s ability to plan for crisis. Mothers/grandmothers, women in general will bear a great burden…..
Off my soap box and back to LeAlan Jones, todays Success Formula…..I asked Mr. LeAlan Jones to be part of my Success Formula series because he motivates me to not only think outside of the box but act in the same grain of courage. LeAlans simplicity reminds me that everything does not have to be complicated but that with consistency the path becomes clear, and most importantly, LeAlan reminds me that there is usually a sacrifice in service…and if there is no sacrifice it may not have been true service.
To bring the green party traction as big as the Democratic Party in Chicago on April 9 by getting more votes than the republican candidate that is running for the 2nd congressional seat. If achieved this will be the first time in the United States history.
Facebook: Friends of LeAlan M. Jones