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Jacqueline Finney Brown

Therapist, educator and government administrator Jacqueline Finney Brown was born on September 4, 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child, Brown lived with her mother and step-father. The home was a center-piece of Baltimore black society. The family received frequent guests including doctors, lawyers, teachers and prominent entertainers. A young Leslie Uggams practiced singing there, and Duke Ellington, Thurgood Marshall and the Fashion Fair models all attended parties inside Brown’s childhood home. In elementary school, Brown attended Baltimore’s segregated schools, but in 1961, however, she graduated from Western High School, a predominantly white school where she was elected vice president of her senior class and was active in theater.

In 1961, Brown entered Howard University, where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She then transferred to the University of Cincinnati and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1967 with her B.A. degree in sociology, psychology and social welfare. Brown received her M.A. degree in guidance and counseling from Bowie State College and her Ph.D. in human development from the University of Maryland. Brown worked as tenured professor in counseling psychology at Bowie State University. Not only is she the former chairperson of the Maryland State Board of Examiners for Professional Counselors, she was also a practicing therapist with her own mental health, counseling and consulting firm.

Brown then served as Director of Academic Support and Director of Reform for the Howard County, Maryland Public School System. She also served on the Superintendent’s Executive Cabinet and directed Family and Community Academic Involvement Services. In 2002, Brown became chief administrative officer for Prince George’s County, Maryland, becoming the first woman to hold this position. In 2006, Brown was elected president of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Corporation. She was later named executive director of Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center.

Brown lives in Maryland with her husband, William A. Brown, Executive Vice President of Page Southerland Page, LLP.

Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.166

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/26/2007 |and| 9/24/2007

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Middle Name

F.

Organizations
Schools

Western High School

Coppin Demonstration School

Pimlico Middle School

University of Cincinnati

Bowie State University

University of Maryland

Howard University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days

First Name

Jacqueline

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BRO44

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Teens, single parents, women in leadership positions, public service, government

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Calculated for 1 to 2 hours of work.
Availability Specifics: Also available some weekends.
Preferred Audience: Teens, single parents, women in leadership positions, public service, government

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Urbanna, Virginia

Favorite Quote

No Problem Is Solved At The Same Level Of Consciousness That Created It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/4/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chocolate, Tuna Fish

Short Description

County government administrator and education administrator Jacqueline Finney Brown (1944 - ) is the former chairperson of the Maryland State Board of Examiners for Professional Counselors. She served as Director of Academic Support and Director of Reform for the Howard County, Maryland Public School System. She also became Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George’s County, Maryland and Executive Director of the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center.

Favorite Color

Chocolate Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jacqueline Finney Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her mother's childhood and her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her mother's siblings and her Aunt Irene Morgan

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about segregation in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jacqueline Finney Brown remembers learning German from her German aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her education at Coppin Demonstration School 132 in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes the Tabb family's history and present day reunions on her maternal side

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls her teachers at Coppin Demonstration School 132 in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about celebrities who passed through Baltimore black society like Leslie Uggams and Duke Ellington

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her parents' divorce and their remarriages

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about desegregation efforts during her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her experiences of segregation as a young girl in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her childhood neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jacqueline Finney Brown remembers being chosen to desegregate Pimlico Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes desegregating Pimlico Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes desegregating Pimlico Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland, pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Western High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls her extracurricular activities and academic performance at Western High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her experience at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision, Morgan v. Virginia in 1946

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls her experience at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes eloping with William A. Brown, Sr. at age eighteen

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jacqueline Finney Brown shares memories from her college years at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the early years of her marriage and her decision to transfer from Howard University to the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her senior year at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recounts her graduate studies at Bowie State University and the University of Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her three children

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her involvement with the Adler-Dreikurs Institute at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls her travels to Holland and England while at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about balancing married life with children and her own private practice

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about conducting marriage and family therapy, and her discovery of Ericksonian hypnotherapy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Second slating of Jacqueline Finney Brown's interview

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the two children she had before graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1967

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls stories from her time at Seven Hills Neighborhood House

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes the work of settlement houses

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about working in the welfare department in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown distinguishes between matrilineal descent and matriarchy in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about combatting discrimination against Appalachian whites in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about learning lessons in community organizing while working in the Welfare Rights Organization in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the Avondale Riots of 1968 after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the Avondale Riots of 1968 after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown details her husband's contributions to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about how Prince George's County in Maryland progressed from the time of restrictive covenants

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about desegregation in Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her children's education in Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown remembers her mentors from the Prince George's County chapter of the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her study of Adlerian psychotherapy at Bowie State College in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her graduate thesis

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the feminist movement and the womanist movement

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her aunt's impact on Jim Crow laws and embracing dual identities of African American and American

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes the distinction between African American culture and African culture

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about the Adler-Dreikurs Institute of Human Relations at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about equity v. equality, and Kenneth and Mamie Clark's doll experiments

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls a memorable trip to the Netherlands teaching drug counseling therapy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown recalls her doctoral studies in human development at the University of Maryland, College Park

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her mentors and the divorce mediation certification program at the University of Maryland, College Park

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about a memorable client from her private practice

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about how she became the human relations coordinator for the Howard County Public School System in Maryland

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her work on academic equity in the Howard County Public School System in Maryland

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her activities in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and in the Links

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her historic appointment as the Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County, Maryland, pt.1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her historic appointment as the Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County, Maryland, pt.2

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her accomplishments as the Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her working relationship with HistoryMaker Jack Johnson in Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her tenure as Chief Administrative Officer in Prince George's County in Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jacqueline Finney Brown reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jacqueline Finney Brown describes her major contributions to education and Prince George's County in Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jacqueline Finney Brown shares her advice for students

DASession

2$2

DATape

8$5

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about her historic appointment as the Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County, Maryland, pt.2
Jacqueline Finney Brown talks about learning lessons in community organizing while working in the Welfare Rights Organization in Dayton, Ohio
Transcript
I said, "Why do you need a Chief Academic Officer?" I did. Had no clue he [HM Jack Johnson] was talking about Chief Administrative Officer, didn't know what one was. He said, "I have been waiting and praying and asking God, please send me someone to run this government." He said, "This is the key appointment, and I hadn't found him." He said, "And here you are." He said, "I'm looking at this resume. What a waste of talent if we don't use this." He said, "Will you do this?" My house is sold. I'm getting ready to retire. "Would you do this?" And something happened, I don't know. And I didn't really answer him; it was something else that was talking with me, at that point. And I said, "I will do this thing." Those are the words I said, "I will do this thing." And when I went home my husband said, "So, how'd it go?" And that's when we began the Lucille Ball phase of my life. "Well, Ricky. Well..." He said, "So, how'd it go?" I said, "Well, hmm." He said, "So how did it go?" I said, "Well, I said yes." He said, "Okay." I said, "Well, no, I said yes to something else." He said, "What else?" I said, "Bill, you need to sit down, baby," and you know, "Do you love me?" And the minute you start saying that you know you're in trouble. "Do you really, really love me?" He said, "Yes." I said, "He asked me to run the government." He said, "What?" I said, "There's something called a CAO and he asked me to be it. What did you do? What did you say?" I said, "Oh, yes, I'll do that thing." And you know what he said? "Good. We'll figure something out." He is so pro me.$$Wow.$$He said, "Maybe people will come to see what I see."$$Wow.$$That's what he said. That's why I've been with him for forty-five years.$$That's amazing.$$That's my best friend. So that's where we are now, that was--$$And at that point, --you made history with this appointment?$$Yes. I had no idea. I mean, talk about no idea, like no idea. Met him November the 11th, Jack, November 11, 2002; December 2nd, I reported for work.$$And why is that a history making moment?$$Because I was the first woman in the history of this county to run the government operations; had no idea.$Can you remember a pivotal event while you were in that position? A story?$$Well, things are running together. This didn't have anything to do with the social planning piece. Some of the things I did in Dayton [Ohio] was also working with community action agencies, and I did a lot of work with the Welfare Rights Organization. And we had been trying to get the Dayton City Council to bring exterminators out to some areas of west Dayton because we were having a rat problem. And they didn't come. And I remember that people said, "We'll tell you what we'll do, we're just going to gather these up. Just get the rats up so they can see and this type of thing." And I think the threat of doing that scared people that we were going to do that because I would march with them and everything else with the Welfare Rights Organization, we'd organize them and all this because you never respond until the wolf is at your door. And one of the things that Saul Alinsky taught us was that, you know, take it to 'em. Take it to 'em. And so we were going to catch some rats and take it down to city council for that 'cause they wouldn't meet, they wouldn't meet with these moms. They wouldn't meet with them. And so that was an interesting thing when we did the demonstration and all of a sudden, the doors opened and they could sit down and talk with them. And that was, that was a nice thing. And that showed me something, that taught me something about organizing. Those days of organizing and those days of doing two things simultaneously were very interesting grounds. The two things that you always did simultaneously--empower the people who had been disenfranchised who didn't have a voice and become a very clear conscience for those in power. Now, some people went one way or the other. And during that time, I think the most effective thing was to be able to do both.$$What year was this?$$Oh, this was '68 [1968], '69 [1969].

Nannette Kindle Mitchell

Nannette Kindle Mitchell was born in Philadelphia on September 16, 1946, but moved to Richmond, Virginia, a year later after her father completed his master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1951, Mitchell entered kindergarten at the school behind her home, a school that until that year had been an all-white school. Three years later, her uncle, Oliver Hill, moved into the house next door. Hill was a civil rights attorney who had written part of the Brown vs. Board of Education argument. The Ku Klux Klan burned crosses in their yards following Hill's arrival, and Mitchell's family was placed under police protection. During that time, her father would often sit outside her uncle's house with a gun to ensure that her uncle arrived safely home.

That same year, Mitchell was expelled from school because her parents refused to sign a document saying that the Board of Education could place students in any school it saw fit. The African American community pulled together, and the students continued their education in a church, with parents who worked as teachers writing the curriculum and stay-at-home parents teaching. Graduating from high school in 1964, Mitchell saw many of her friends arrested during sit-ins and protests.

Today, Mitchell works as a management assistant in the Baltimore County government. She has spent time working with the Baltimore Police Department and is now with the Department of Social Services. She is also still aware of the racial polarization of the country and has given speeches on the subject. Mitchell continues to counsel her children much the way her parents did her. She is also active in her community of Baltimore, serving on the Board of Trustees of the Franciscan Center, which provides emergency outreach and supportive assistance to the poor. Mitchell lived through a turbulent time and continues to fight for equality for all.

Accession Number

A2003.237

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/28/2003

Last Name

Mitchell

Maker Category
Middle Name

Kindle

Organizations
Schools

Maggie L. Walker High School

Benjamin Graves Junior High School

Albert V. Norrell Elementary School

Fisk University

Morgan State University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Nannette

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

MIT02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

All

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Travel Expenses and wages missed ($300) are expected.
Preferred Audience: All

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Life Isn't Fair. It Doesn't Have To Be.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

9/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood and dessert

Short Description

County government administrator Nannette Kindle Mitchell (1946 - ) grew up amid the struggle for civil rights in Richmond, Virginia. She works as a management assistant in the Baltimore County government.

Employment

Baltimore County Government

Baltimore Police Department

Maryland Department of Social Services

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nannette Kindle Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell states her parents' names, birthdays, and places of birth

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her family's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her mother and her own education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about growing up in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about attending Albert V. Norrell School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about briefly being forced to leave Albert V. Norrell Elementary School during desegregation

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell describes being shelter from racism as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell recalls her neighbor, HistoryMaker Oliver Hill, being targeted by the Klu Klux Klan

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her brother's experience in integrated schools

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her favorite subjects and teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about Maggie L. Walker High School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her high school career plans

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her marriage, pregnancy, and transfer to Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her time at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her work

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about adjusting to Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her son's early interest in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell reflects upon her hopes for her son's political career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nannette Kindle Mitchell narrates her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about briefly being forced to leave Albert V. Norrell Elementary School during desegregation
Nannette Kindle Mitchell talks about her work
Transcript
Now, when I was in the second grade at [Albert V.] Norrell School [Richmond, Virginia], I was in Mrs. White's [ph.] class and that was when the Brown vs. Board of Education [of Topeka, 1954] decision came down. What happened was, the Virginia School Board decided that to keep the school segregated, that every parent--a parent of every child in the school systems in Virginia would have to sign what was called a pupil placement form, and this form said that the state School Board could assign each child to the school that they thought was appropriate. My parents [Evelyn Gilpin Kindle and William D. Kindle] would not sign. I can remember Mrs. [Ethel Thompson] Overby, who was the principal of the school and she looked just like a 1950s principal with a dark dress with a big white collar, and tie-up shoes, and the heavy stockings, and the hair in the bun come into our classroom and read a list of children who had to leave school. And we had to leave school because our parents would not sign this pupil personnel form. Well, I mean, we were elated (laughter) because we thought we didn't have to go to school, and we didn't, as a second grader, we certainly didn't fully understand why. And we couldn't understand why Mrs. Overby was crying. I mean, just tears were just rolling down her face. We went home, and I'm not sure what day of the week it was, but all of the parents of the children who were put out of school got together and within three days we were in school. There was a church two doors down the street from me, which was less than a block from the school we attended. My mother did the lesson plans and sent all of, at that time, mimeographs for the first, second and third grades. Somebody else did it for fourth, fifth and sixth, and we had school in church for about eight weeks. The parents, the mothers, who did not work and there were several, were the teachers. They called--like my mother was the resource person for first, second and third grades. So the teacher, whoever was teaching, they called her every night. I used to take home the papers for my mother to grade, she would give them feedback as to what they needed to stress in the lesson plan for the next day, and that's the way it went until we were--until the court said that we could go back to school, okay?$$Okay.$$That was--that really taught me that, you know, things can be done. You just have to get together and do them. So--(simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Now--$$--that was pretty intense.$Okay, now, what do you do next? Now you got young children and--$$Well, by and large until my youngest was ten, I had little jobs for short periods here and there. When I finished Morgan I went to work for the city for a short time, very short; maybe about six months and then I was pregnant with our second child, and after that I took a long hiatus. Then after our third child, I went and I became--a real--consumer education and Ralph Nader were on all the rage in the early '70s [1970s], and I really became interested in that. So I went up the street here to the College of Notre Dame [later Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, Maryland] and took some classes in consumer economics and I was supposed to do an internship to finish the major and I decided I really just didn't want to do that. And so I went to a woman's fair or fair of some kind and there was a booth from the consumer protection division, and the lady asked me what my name was and I told her. And she said, "You were supposed to be my intern." And so then I went to work at consumer protection as a volunteer and then I became a part-time worker and then for a short time a full-time worker, and I quit that after about three years and I stayed home until my youngest was ten. And from that time on I've worked for Baltimore County Government.$$Okay. And you're a management assistant?$$I'm a management assistant. It's a glorified staff person. I was the--like the staff person to a colonel in the police department who was like the deputy chief, and I've had a variety of jobs in social services. I've done it for the deputy director. Right now I work for a foster care. And many people think I'm a social worker, but I'm not. I do the healthcare for foster children; I do a lot of community outreach; I do the school enrollment and I'm the school liaison for the agency for, you know, the enrollment issues and procedures in the school systems. I do a lot of setting policy and procedures; I also do the Section 8 housing program is a part of our agency, and I do the Section 8 hearings at least once a month for people who the housing officers have to terminate and they ask for an informal hearing. I do those and make a decision on whether or not to reinstate them into their Section 8 or not. So I do a variety of things there.

Vernon Jones

Vernon Jones was born on October 31, 1960, in Laurel Hill, North Carolina. From there he went on to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, earning a B.A. in business administration in 1983. Jones would later graduate from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government's Executive Program.

Jones began his career working in the telecommunications industry, first with WorldCom and later with BellSouth Corporation, where he was part of a team that established wireless communications in Montevideo, Uruguay. Always interested in public policy issues, Jones sought election to the Georgia House of Representatives where he served for eight years, from 1992 to 2000.

After leaving the Georgia House of Representatives, Jones remained active in politics. Currently he serves as the CEO of DeKalb County, Georgia, a position in which he oversees the Board of Commissioners of the county. He is also responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a 7,000-employee civic workforce and a $2.6 billion budget within the state's second most populous county. He has the honor of being the youngest person to hold this position. Since being elected, Jones has been active in purchasing land for the county to be used as parks, as well as a landmark initiative requiring all senior county employees to disclose financial information to prevent any conflicts of interest. Jones is currently working to significantly boost economic growth within DeKalb County.

Outside of the office, Jones is active in a number of community and civic organizations, including the Advocates for Seniors; New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia; Youth Prevention Services; and the National Black M.B.A. Association. He is also a founding member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Stone Mountain Alumni Chapter.

Accession Number

A2003.189

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2003

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Schools

Pate Gardner Elementary

Scotland High

North Carolina Central University

First Name

Vernon

Birth City, State, Country

Laurel Hill

HM ID

JON08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Favorite Quote

Feathers Come With The Chicken.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/31/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken (Blackened)

Short Description

County government administrator Vernon Jones (1960 - ) is the youngest CEO of DeKalb County, Georgia.

Employment

George House of Representatives

DeKalb County, Georgia

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vernon Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vernon Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vernon Jones describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vernon Jones talks about his family's encounters with discrimination in the American South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vernon Jones talks about the level of educational attainment in his family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vernon Jones talks about his paternal family background and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vernon Jones describes his father and the tradition in his paternal family of naming children after Robert E. Lee

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vernon Jones recalls his father advising young soldiers shipping out to Vietnam

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vernon Jones remembers the family receiving news from Vietnam about a brother's injury

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vernon Jones describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vernon Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Vernon Jones describes growing up in rural South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vernon Jones describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vernon Jones talks about the role of the church in the rural southern community of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vernon Jones talks about the culture of Southern hospitality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vernon Jones describes the culture of his childhood community, Laurel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vernon Jones recalls his first grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vernon Jones talks about developing a dislike for school in the second grade

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vernon Jones talks about Scotland High School in Laurinburg, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vernon Jones describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vernon Jones talks about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on his parents' lives

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vernon Jones talks about his responsibilities on the family farm

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Vernon Jones talks about listening to Motown singers and watching black entertainers on TV

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vernon Jones talks about family television programming in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vernon Jones talks about driving a school bus as a high school student

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vernon Jones talks about his decision to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vernon Jones describes the development of his political consciousness at North Carolina Central University in the late 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vernon Jones talks about the 1979 Greensboro Massacre and meeting HistoryMaker Julian Bond

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vernon Jones talks about individuals who influenced him at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vernon Jones talks about working on an assembly line at Research Triangle Park in the early 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vernon Jones talks about interning for IBM in Poughkeepsie, New York during the early 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vernon Jones talks about working for Coca-Cola as a trade examiner in the early 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Vernon Jones talks about being hired by MCI Communications and subsequent jobs in the telecommunications industry

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Vernon Jones talks about the beginning of his Georgia political career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vernon Jones describes the demographic changes in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area since the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vernon Jones talks about his 1990 and 1992 campaigns for the Georgia House of Representatives

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vernon Jones talks about issues debated in the Georgia House of Representatives during the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vernon Jones explains how politicians often pander to public opinion on issues such as crime and incarceration

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vernon Jones explains the paradox of campaigning as an "honest politician"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vernon Jones talks about the roles the domestic economy and the media play in American politics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vernon Jones talks about the role of celebrity in American politics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vernon Jones explains why he ran for state office and his political orientation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vernon Jones explains the differences between his role as a Georgia state representative and as chief executive officer for DeKalb County

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vernon Jones talks about his recession era fiscal policy as chief executive officer of DeKalb County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vernon Jones talks about how his IT and management backgrounds have influenced his work as chief executive officer of DeKalb County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vernon Jones talks about the ethos of service informing his work as chief executive officer of DeKalb County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vernon Jones talks about future plans for public services and transportation in DeKalb County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vernon Jones describes his approach to county governance as chief executive officer of DeKalb County

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vernon Jones explains his views on affirmative action programs in county governance

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vernon Jones reflects upon his legacy as chief executive officer of DeKalb County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Vernon Jones describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Vernon Jones narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Vernon Jones recalls his father advising young soldiers shipping out to Vietnam
Vernon Jones explains why he ran for state office and his political orientation
Transcript
My dad [Robert Lee Jones] talked a lot about his [U.S.] military career. He served in the Third Army. That was a unit attached to General [George] Patton. He, he loved history, he loved politics. He always talked about national politics, more so than local or, or, or state politics, loved the military. Four of my brothers were in the military. I can remember a lot of young men who were getting prepared to go to [the] Vietnam [War]. When they would finish basic training and come back home for those few days before they shipped out, I can recall they all wanted to stop by my father's house and talk to him about what the experience would have been like, with him having been in World War II [World War Two, WWII]. And he always would tell them all--I can always remember we used to laugh as a kid about it, as kids about it, but he would always tell those guys stay on your toes at all times. In other words, stay alert. You have to if you, if you want to make it back home.$$Okay.$$And he, he understood what war was about. He understood how a young man--'cause he was nineteen going over there. Young people don't fear or have as much fear as older people. And my dad, having gone through that experience, he knew that those young men may have seen that it's something very exciting. It certainly was exciting, but at the same time, there had been a, a big possibility that they would be shipped back in a body bag. And he didn't want them to get lax. He wanted to remain alert, be aware, do everything they can do to make sure they returned home safely. And so, I guess that's one of the reasons why, being passed onto me, I never went in the military. But knowing how strong my dad was in support of the military, coming into the county, elected in this job, I created the first veteran's commission. And since then we have done a number of not only ceremonial events to honor veterans, but also we're in the process of constructing a pavilion to honor veterans. But that was because of my experience and that my dad had--$$Yeah.$$--in terms of being in support of the military--$So what, what was your initial motivation for running for office in the first place?$$Thought I could make a difference, want to get in the game, stop being on the sideline, stop saying we should do this or do that, get in there. That's the only way you can change it. For me, for me--people have different roads. Some people want to be on the sideline, maybe advise or, or work the crowd. Some wanna get in and be a player. I wanted to get in. I wanted to get in and be a player. I, I thought and I still believe my experiences bring a lot, one, coming up on the other side of the track; two, my corporate experience; three, the fact that I know there are people out there that, they're getting the shaft. There're some serious problems. I'm a solution, I'm a solutionist [ph.], not, not someone who just want to point the finger all the time. J.C. Watts is one of my good friends. J.C., he left [U.S.] Congress because J.C. was frustrated. You know, we're here to really do something, or we're here because my party, I'm gon' do this; your party, you do that. And because you happen to be of a different party, even if you got a good idea, I'm not gonna work with you. I'm not gonna agree with you. Ah, that's not right. Do what makes sense. But you don't have that.$$Yeah, J.C. Watts seemed to have relationships across the, across party lines. Now, but he's considered like a, you know, conservative black Republican. Do, do those labels have a lot of meaning for you, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative?$$You know what, I am--I've seen some of the, the most liberal conservatives and some of the most conservative liberals. I, I like to think that I, I am, some call it a centrist. Maybe I am, because I'm, I'm not way over here to the, to the right. I'm not all the way over here to the left. I just believe in, in just being reasonable and sensible. I think most American people are in the middle. The conservatives, the most, the most conservative person in some, in some settings, being conservative means the government shouldn't tell a woman what to do when she make a decision between her and her doctor. That's being conservative, all right. Then that liberal, there are some liberals out there who actually believe in a, in, in, in, in not having an abortion. But it's the rhetoric. What gets me is when you have these people who wanna say oh, family values and this, and I'm that, and I'm this, when in fact, if you look in their closet, they have no family values; it's hype, and they play to people's fears. Let's not play to people's fears.