Dr. Clarence B. Jones, Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco, former personal advisor, lawyer, and draft speechwriter, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Dr. Jones is currently the First Diversity Visiting Professor, University of San Francisco and a Scholar Writer in Residence, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, and Palo Alto, CA.
In a distinguished and heralded career, Clarence B. Jones served as political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., joined Sanford I. Weill and Arthur Levitt, Jr. in Carter, Berlind & Weill, Inc. as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), becoming the “first African American “ partner in a Wall Street investment banking firm, has been twice recognized as Fortune Magazine’s “Business Man of the Month,” and founded successful financial, corporate and media-related ventures. He has also provided strategic legal and financial consulting services to several governments around the world including The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Zambia.
Dr. Jones has received numerous state and national awards recognizing his significant contributions to American society. Through his work in the civil rights movement, he has dramatically impacted the course of American history. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, AL. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. He assisted Dr. King in the drafting of his celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that he delivered at the March On Washington, August 28th 1963. In September 1971, he again found himself at the center of history-in-the-making when, at the request of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller; he was requested to help negotiate an end to the historic Attica prison inmate rebellion.
Dr. Jones has been the subject of numerous television and radio interview programs, appearing in such notable media vehicles as CNN, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show, NY1’s One-on-One with Budd Mishkin, NPR radio, BBC UK (radio and TV), CBS local and National, The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, Canadian Broadcasting, Alitjd Wat Dutch TV, the Charlie Rose Show, AL Jazeera, Sirius XM”s the Bob Edwards Show, and featured in articles in the Washington Post, USA Today, Vanity Fair, UK Sunday Mirror, Time, Ebony and Jet Magazines, Le Temp, Geneva, Switzerland and several publications in Canada, the UK, France, Ukraine and Ireland. He was part of The March, a documentary on the March on Washington, jointly produced by Sundance /BBC/Smoking Dogs/PBS. He took part in a show for a program on The Letter from the Birmingham Jail for Al Jazeera America.
A much requested speaker, he has addressed corporate audiences at Citigroup and the U.S. headquarters of British Petroleum, GE, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, The Limited and Google headquarters and laws firms such as Sullivan &Cromwell and Andrews Kurth, Texas.
He has been the featured speaker at Rutgers University School of Law, The Sciences Po, Paris, and The American Institute at Oxford University, The British Library, the Bristol Book Fair, and the Aye Write Book Fair in Glasgow. He has spoken at Veterans Administrations Hospitals, The California African-American Association of School Superintendents, the New York Public Library, the NYC 92nd Street “Y”, the New Albany Community Foundation, Columbus, OH.
Dr. Jones has been recognized for his illustrious career with honors awarded by a wide variety of distinguished organizations, including:
• Selected by Time Magazine in 1972 as one of 100 Future Leaders of America
• Distinguished Public Service Award, African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties
• Letter of Commendation from President William J. Clinton, for work in Birmingham, Alabama on behalf of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement
• Distinguished Honoree of New York’s Community Works Organization and subject of “The Long Walk to Freedom” performed by The Impact Theatre Repertory Company
• Isaiah Award for Lifetime Achievement, American Jewish Congress, New York, 2006
• Dream of Equality Honoree, Asian Americans For Equality, New York, 2006
• Silver Shingle Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, Boston University Law School, 2006
• Lifetime Achievement Award, Black Sports Agent Association, New York, 2006
• Pioneer Award for Business Leadership by U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., 2006
• Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute’s Distinguished Public Service Award, 2007
• Guest of Honor, Office of the Mayor of Paris for the dedication of Public Park in Paris commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 2008
• Inductee, Walk of Fame, Martin Luther King Center, Atlanta, GA, 2008
• Featured Cover Story, January/February, Columbia College Today Alumni Magazine, 2008
• Keynote Speaker, Town Hall of Los Angeles, 2008.
• Holocaust Memorial Center, Detroit, 2009.
• Museum of African American History, Detroit, 2009.
• Keynote Speaker, Michigan State University’s Celebration of Black History Month, 2009
• Keynote Speaker, San Francisco, May 19th, 2011, 35th Anniversary Dinner of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club.
• Georgetown University’s John Thompson “Legacy of the Dream” Award, Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, Washington, DC, January, 2012.
• A keynote speaker and participant at The Twelfth Annual Herzliya Conference, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2012.
• Speaker, National Cathedral School for Boys, Washington, DC, May 2012.
• Keynote Speaker, July 2012, San Diego, CA, LGBT Pride Weekend.
• Akselrad Speaker at Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos, CA, October 2012. A keynote speaker and participant.
• Speaker, Septima Clark Public Charter School, Dec. 2012.
• January 2013 honoree of the African-American Museum of History, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, moderated by Wil Haygood, Writer for the Washington Post.
• Keynote Speaker, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, February 2013.
• Speaker, Holocaust Museum, Detroit, Michigan, February 2013.
• Speaker, Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center For Civil Rights, February 2013.
• Detroit, MI 2013 Recipient of “The Architect of Peace Award”, Spilling The Honey Foundation’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
• Keynote Speaker Utah Valley University Annual Commemoration of “Black History Month”, Jan 2013.
• Keynote Speaker, Kansas State University’s Celebration of “Black History Month”, Jan 2013.
• Keynote Speaker, Thatcher School, Ojai, CA, Feb. 2013.
• Keynote Speaker, Univ. of California Davis School of Law, Feb. 2013.
• Guest Lecturer, February 2013, US Embassy, Kiev, Ukraine; Ambassador’s Forum, on “The 21st Century Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
• Keynote speaker and recipient of the Journey for Freedom award from the Birmingham Bar Association and Magic City Bar Association.
• Speaker at Deepak Chopra’s Sages and Scientists Symposium August 2013.
• Recipient of the Hero Legacy Award from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission August 2013.
• Keynote speaker at the 11th Human Rights Gathering for the United Nations, Geneva, August 2013.
• Keynote speaker at Dillard University, September 2013.
• Participant at 92nd Street Y’s An Evening with Bud Mishkin’s 1 on 1 with Julian Bond and Harry Belafonte, October 2013.
• Keynote speaker at Cal Poly Tech, October 2013.
• Keynote speaker at Royal Bank of Scotland’s First Diversity Conference, London, October 2013.
• Guest speaker/participant at the NPR Race Card Project, Washington, DC, November 2013
• Keynote speaker at Disney Imagineering in Orlando, FL, Jan. 2014
• Keynote speaker at Florida International University, Miami, FL, Jan. 2014
• Keynote speaker Southeast Missouri State, Cape Girardeau, MO, Jan. 2014
• Keynote speaker Furman University, Greenville SC, Jan. 2014
• Panelist at The Detroit Association Of Black Organization 35th Annual State Of The Race Forum, Feb. 2014
• Honored by The Consulate General of Israel in NY, The Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, The Jewish National Fund at the Convent Baptist Church, NY, Feb. 2014
• Keynote Speaker Celebration 66th Anniversary of Israel, May 6th, 2014, Charles Schultz Museum, San Francisco, CA.
• Participating Panelist, Commemoration 50th Anniversary” Mississippi Voter Registration Summer of 1964”, June 5th, 2014, Temple Emanuel, San Jose, CA
• Recipient of the 10th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference & Law Fair Legendry Jurist Award, Houston, October 25, 2014
• Keynote speaker at Northwestern Law School, Chicago, October 30th, 2014
• Panelist for the Andrew Goodman Foundation Awards, NYC, November 17, 2014
• Keynote speaker, Sierra Health Foundation, Sacramento, December 5, 2014
• Keynote speaker Cedar Sinai, Los Angeles, January 19, 2015
• Keynote speaker University of Central Florida, Orlando, January 22, 2015
• Keynote speaker Fairfield University, CT, February 4, 2015
• Honored by President Barack Obama, White House Oval Office, Feb, 2015
• Keynote speaker Cayuga County Prosecutor’s Office, February 20, 2015
• Keynote speaker MOAD, San Francisco, February 27, 2015
• Panelist at Mishkan Israel Congregation, Selma, March 8, 2015
• Keynote speaker UCSC, Santa Cruz, May 4, 2015
• Keynote speaker Indika Alliance, Minneapolis, June 17 2015
• Commencement speaker Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, June 20, 2015
• Panelist March On Washington Film Festival, (MOWFF), DC, July 21, 2015
• Civil Rights Ambassador, Andrew Goodman Foundation, Vote Everywhere, NJ, August 2015
• Keynote speaker Communications Network, San Diego, October 2, 2015
• Keynote speaker The Grand Lodge, DC, October 10, 2015
• Panelist, Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series, Oakland, November 7, 2015
• Keynote speaker Oklahoma City Business Ethics Consortium, OK, November 12, 2015
• Keynote speaker at Northern California Grant makers, San Francisco, January 13, 2016
• Keynote speaker at The Pingrey School, Basking Ridge, NJ, January 15, 2016
• Keynote speaker at Cedar Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, January 18, 2016
• Keynote speaker at The San Francisco School, San Francisco, February 4, 2016
• Keynote speaker at Fenwick and West, Mountain View, February 18, 2016
• Speaker at Malibu Jewish Center, Malibu, February 19, 2016
• Speaker at IKAR, Los Angeles, February 20, 2016
• Panelist at Malibu Film Festival, February 20, 2016Keynote speaker at Georgetown University Law School Lecture Series, Washington DC, February 25, 2016
• Panelist for MOWFF April 15,2016
• Appeared in Film and wrote script for ABN AMBRO/Netherlands
• Keynote speaker for Project Victory, Santa Cruz, June 4, 2016
• Keynote speaker Wells Fargo, Charlotte NC, June 7, 2016
• Recipient of Human Dignity Ward by the YMCA Metropolitan Los Angeles, Jan 2017.
• Keynote speaker, World Headquarters, Citigroup, Inc., NYC Feb 2017
• Recipient of Proclamation from Mayor and City Council, Palo Alto, CA for distinguished public service, Feb. 13th, 2017
Dr. Jones has served on the prestigious boards of The Impact Repertory Theater & Dance Co. and The Theatre Development Fund NYC, the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, NY. He is on the boards of Evolve, The Andrew Goodman Foundation and Indika Alliance. He serves on the Advisory Board of The Communications Network, Inc.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College, Columbia University as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University’s School of Law and a Certificate from The New York Institute of Finance and the NASD for his Allied Membership in the NYSE. Additionally, he has an Honorary Doctorate in Communications from Allegheny College in Allegheny, PA, Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, Drew University, Madison, NJ, Lincoln University, PA and the University of San Francisco.
Dr. Jones has twice taught his course “From Slavery to Obama”, at Stanford University’s School of Continuing Studies Master of Liberal Arts Program. He continues to lecture at Stanford. Since the fall of 2012 he teaches a reconfigured 15-week version of the same course, to undergraduates in the College of Arts & Sciences, University of San Francisco. In conjunction with USF he has developed USF’s on line course, “From Slavery to Obama-Renewing The Promise of Reconstruction” In Spring 2013 he taught a new course he created for USF’s graduate school of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, “The Art of Advocacy Speech Writing”.
In 2017 Dr. Jones commenced visiting and speaking at young men and women’s prisons
He is co-author of “WHAT WOULD MARTIN SAY?” 2008, “BEHIND THE DREAM-The Making of the Speech That Transformed A Nation”, 2011 and the audio version of the book which was released on August 20th, 2013 by the University of San Francisco. Go to (www.usfca.edu/diversity/behind_the_dream). He also co-authored an E-book, UPRISING: Understanding Attica, Revolution and the Incarceration State. Dr. Jones posts a regular column in the Huffington Post. He is also writing his autobiography: “A Pencil and A Dollar Bill- Memoirs Of An African-American Journey From the Depression to The Election of Barack Obama as President of the United States”.
He currently resides in Palo Alto, CA where he continues to write and lecture.
Dr. Jones is represented exclusively by APB, American Program Bureau, Boston, MA