Van Jones Wins

VanJonesMug.jpgMalcolm Margolin, writer, publisher and founder of Heyday Books; and Van Jones, known as a youth, civil rights and environmental advocate, were among the winners this week of the San Francisco Foundation’s prestigious Community Leadership Awards.
Van Jones, Co-founder and Board Member of the Oakland-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, was recognized by the foundation for “his inspirational and galvanizing” work in youth and civil rights activism.
Other winners were Chicana writer, activist and feminist Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, recognized by the foundation for building unity and alliances across traditional racial and gender lines; and the Asian Women’s Shelter in San Francisco, for its dedicated work helping Asian women and children escape family violence.
The San Francisco Foundation’s awards are presented annually to individuals and groups that have demonstrated leadership in their Bay Area communities. A cash award of $10,000 is given to individual leaders and $20,000 to organizations.
Martinez received the award, according to the foundation, because “She has built unity and alliances across traditional racial and gender lines. Her strong spirit continually brings together diverse coalitions to forge positive change across many communities.”
Martinez is the author of many books and articles on social justice movements in the Americas. One of her best-known works is the bilingual “500 years of Chicano History in Pictures,” which became the basis a video she co-directed.
During the 1960s, Martinez served full-time in the Civil Rights Movement with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the South and as a coordinator of its New York office.
Van Jones won the award from the foundation for his leadership in policy reform campaigns that have tackled fundamental issues within the Bay Area, California and the nation, paving the way a future that is “greener” and with greater social justice,.
In 2007, the City of Oakland adopted the Ella Baker Center’s “Green Jobs Corps” proposal, which provides $250,000 to train youth for eco-friendly, “green-collar jobs.” Jones was also advocated for the federal Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorizes $125 million to train workers for green collar jobs.
Margolin, Writer, Publisher, and Founder of Berkeley’s Heyday Books, won for promoting California’s diverse cultures for more than 30 years, and “for bringing voice, visibility, and value to multicultural, multilingual communities.”