Photo: Vernon E. Jordan, who passed away March 1, 2020 at his home in Washington DC. By his work and his counsel Jordan moved our society closer to the ideals of social and economic justice.
Vernon Jordan passed away March 1
PBS to air film for fighter for social justice
As a teenager, Vernon Jordan worked as a table waiter for his mother who catered meals at an elite club for the powerful movers and shakers of Atlanta.
At the height of his powers as an accomplished civil rights lawyer and mover and shaker for social justice, Jordan was one of the elite.
Living in low-income, segregated public housing until he was 13, Jordan fought his way through all-White De Paul University and Howard Law School. He moved rapidly in the key organizations which shaped public policy in the late 20th century. He headed the United Negro College Fund and the National Urban League and was a valued advisor to Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Early in his social justice work, he had an opportunity to talk with President Richard Nixon. “Mr. President… From time to time you may not like what I say, or how or where I say it. I hope we can work through our differences when those occasions arise.”
Jordan was perfectly typified by historian Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as “The Rosa Parks of Wall Street.” Gates affirmed that Jordan inspired a generation of young Black men and women to aspire to leadership roles in business, finance and government. His devotion to the principles of equality and justice moved peoples around the world closer those fundamental goals for all societies.
“I’m here because I stand on many, many shoulders, and that’s true of every black person I know who has achieved… There will come a time and a place to give back, and each individual will recognize that time and place,” Vernon Jordan
(Information for this article was excerpted from New York Times articles by Globe Times staff)