Ben Jealous on Being Distant Cousins With Dick Cheney and Robert E. Lee

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In this interview with Karen Hunter, civil rights leader, organizer, scholar and journalist Ben Jealous opens up about what it’s like to be distantly related to two notable historical figures.

About Ben Jealous

Ben Jealous has spent his professional life at the nexus of social change, media, and emerging technologies. He is a former Democratic Nominee for Governor of Maryland, former National President & CEO of the NAACP, former Executive Director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), and for more than half a decade has been investing in social impact startups. While at the NAACP, Jealous led a series of wholesale changes in how the organization used social media and related technologies to enhance its organizing. He is a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication. His efforts started with proving the efficacy of online viral voter registration drives in the 2008 Presidential Election. The NAACP’s numbers of online activists really took off when Jealous began using their platforms to organize support for individuals fighting injustices in the criminal justice system. The last such campaign he led for the NAACP signed up more than 600,000 new activists on email and approximately 400,000 via text in less than two weeks. These efforts have also been credited by a major polling firm with shifting public opinion and paving the way for landmark civil rights state legislative victories.

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