Judge Nathaniel R. Jones’ (1926-2020) remarkable career started in the 1950s when he was named director of the Fair Employment Practices Commission of Youngstown, Ohio. In 1962, he was appointed as the first African American assistant U.S. attorney in Ohio. He later served as assistant general counsel of the Kerner Commission, and, beginning in 1969, as general counsel of the NAACP. In that latter role, Judge Jones fought against Northern school segregation, twice arguing in the pivotal U.S. Supreme Court case Bradley v. Milliken, which addressed school desegregation in Detroit. He also led the national response to the attacks on affirmative action, spearheading and arguing many of the signal legal cases of that effort.
Judge Jones’ story is an essential corrective to the idea of a post-racial America – his voice and his testimony offering enduring evidence of the unfinished work of civil rights and social justice.
Theodore M. Berry
The Jones Center directorship was named in honor of Theodore M. Berry due to his significant contributions to social justice, civic service, and equity in the City of Cincinnati and surrounding region. Theodore M. Berry (1905-2000) was a lawyer and civil rights activist who served as the first African American mayor of Cincinnati from 1972 to 1975. With a career revolving around fighting racial injustice, Berry served as President of the NAACP Cincinnati chapter and later under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration as the Director of the federal Community Action Program. Berry graduated from Cincinnati Law in 1931.