Video by Emma Curran, Georgetown University
Each year, Georgetown recognizes an upcoming local leader working to solve some of the city’s most pressing challenges with the Legacy of a Dream award. For more than 20 years, Jones has led Bread for the City in its mission to serve vulnerable city residents with comprehensive services that include food, clothing, medical care and legal and social services.
“The fact is that people are hungry or at risk of sleeping on the street here in D.C.,” Jones says. “Oftentimes, it’s difficult for them to find justice in many of the situations they find themselves in. So our lawyers and our food pantry and our medical practice are where we can provide direct physical care. Those services are here to deal with the harsh realities of living in poverty in D.C.”
Jones’ work impacts a city where approximately 19 percent live below the poverty line. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the unemployment rate rises above the national average and, says a report released this month by the Feed America network of food banks, 28 percent of children live with little access to nutritional food.
Jones will receive the award at a ceremony the Kennedy Center on January 15, 2015, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The ceremony will include a free concert with performer Natalie Cole. As part of the award, Georgetown will begin an intensive yearlong partnership with Bread for the City.
In 2014, Georgetown recognized Lecester Johnson of Academy of Hope. The university worked closely with Johnson to bring greater attention to the important issue of adult education, and to support AoH’s significant growth and expansion, which included transition to a public charter school. Among other things, the university provided executive education to AoH executives, including Johnson; consultation with university experts on issues including benefit plans, strategic communications, and an on-going facilities search; and provided a venue for AoH’s 2014 graduation ceremony.
Mary Brown, executive director of the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative and formerly executive director of Life Pieces to Masterpieces, received the award in 2013. Read more about George Jones and his work with Bread for the City, and about the Legacy of a Dream Award.