The Jones Center grew from the desire of students, the passion of faculty and staff, and the commitment from administration. Beginning with the joint degree program in Law and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in 1995, the Center added a clinical component in 2005 with the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic, and in 2007 launched an academic journal, The Freedom Center Journal. With these foundational elements in place, the Center was officially established in 2010 as the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice with a mission to cultivate leaders, scholars, and activists committed to social change.
Since 2010, the Center has provided students with experiential learning, research, and other opportunities for interdisciplinary inquiry. In 2019, the Center was renamed the Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, in honor of the late Judge Nathaniel R. Jones. With the renaming, the Jones Center further strengthened its dedication to achieving a new level of impact and engagement of its core mission.