Advisor & Speechwriter for Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Jones is currently an Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco and a Scholar Writer in Residence at 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. Read More >
Honoring Martin Luther King's Dream in the 21st Century
University of San Francisco
Dreaming On, Marching On
Martin Luther King Jr. was the 20th century's pre-eminent apostle of non-violence and the pursuit of justice. From Dr. King's beautifully illustrated philosophies in his 1963 Letter From A Birmingham Jail to the powerful "I Have A Dream" speech, Jones’ finds that 50 years later, the same challenges of racial segregation and unfair treatment are still posed for civil society today.
Jones’ gives a frank discussion on the translation of this phrase extracted from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. More specifically, the conditions of present-day America are scrutinized in comparison to the challenge of Dr. King and whether society is consistent or inconsistent with the message.
The expression “Nero while Rome burned” refers to heedless and irrelevant behavior in the midst of a crisis. Jones’ believes much of Corporate America is the “Neroes” of today. In his speech, he revisits and redefines the landscape of Corporate Responsibility and its response to many of the social, economic, and educational problems in society.
This speech objectively lays out a summation of the facts pertaining to education today. With communication based technology being the main source of gathering information in our society, the absence of education hurts young people, causing an influx of uneducated students. Therefore, these insufficient youth, as deemed by society, are unable to make a meaningful economic contribution to sustain themselves and their families. Jones’ goal is to shed light on some of the possible options for action and other solutions in order to address and redress the education problem in America today.
“Thank you again for speaking to our company. Everyone in the room was impacted and we already heard that this was one of the best events we've ever had. It meant a lot to hear your stories, especially during Black History Month. On a personal note, as a Black man growing up in this country I felt directly impacted, I'm hanging on to every word you said.”
"Both of my kids said Mr. Jones was one of the best speakers they have ever had at Pingry. My daughter has been there for ten years, so that’s saying a lot! Just wanted to thank you for all that you do for our school and our kids."
"Dr. Jones did an awesome job. He was engaging, interesting and funny. I’m so happy we chose him for this year’s program! The program chair remarked: 'The speaker was truly memorable.'"
"The caliber of who this man is, it was an honor to hear him speak about his life, his experience, his perspective and words on life. It led back to love in a very meaningful and authentic way. To hear this from an 87-year-old with his life experience was touching and very powerful."
"Dr. Clarence B. Jones captivated and inspired a rapt audience of over 500 nonprofit and foundation decision makers with his account of working and walking alongside Dr. Martin Luther King. He didn't deliver a speech, he did something more: he made a difference."
"This was such an enriching experience. It's great that my company provides opportunities to engage with people that I'd never get to hear from on my own -- or even if I worked somewhere else. I thought that Clarence did a great job of conveying his experience and connecting it to the broader themes of equality that Salesforce is working on."
"The MLK Dinner with Clarence Jones as a keynote speaker went very well! He was a pleasure to work with and we all enjoyed his stories and humor. The planning committee was pleased with the presentation as well as the turnout for the event. Thank you for your help in bringing him to campus!"
"I enjoyed hearing the experiences, advice, perspective of someone who experienced segregation, the Civil rights movement, and current events. He provided a perspective that is needed. There has been progress. There is work to do. We can do it."