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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
Equal opportunity under the law. It’s been the focus of Nathaniel Jones’ life for decades, and he has made more of a difference than most people.
A graduate of his hometown school, Youngstown State University, Jones chose a legal career to help eliminate racial injustice the kind that led to his being refused a shave in the old Sheraton Gibson barbershop during an early visit to Cincinnati.
A year after entering private practice, Jones was appointed an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland, a position he held until 1967. He was then asked to serve as assistant general counsel to President Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission, which made a study of the causes of the urban riots of the 1960s.
Later, as general counsel for the NAACP, he directed the national response to attacks against affirmative action, led an inquiry into discrimination in the military, and supervised the NAACP’s defense in the Mississippi Boycott case, which led to a landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the First Amendment right of individuals and organizations to engage in protests.
Jones was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1979.
“I see enough here to make Cincinnati an exciting place,” said Jones. “People should be proud and press on to make this city an even better place to live.”
“Democracy requires participation,” he said. “If you don’t participate, you don’t have anybody to blame but yourself. That’s a lesson the business community has learned. To be a player, you have to been involved.”
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization