The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Advisory Board Member Clarence B. Jones, Esq. Receives The Presidential Medal Of Freedom


Thursday, May 9, 2024
10:00 a.m. ET


Mo Banks, Director of Communications
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The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Advisory Board Member Clarence B. Jones, Esq. Receives The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

President Joseph Biden presented Clarence B. Jones, Esq. with the nation’s highest civilian honor for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King’s legacy, and social justice

On May 3rd, 2024, President Joseph Biden awarded Clarence B. Jones, Esq. the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) proudly celebrates this prestigious recognition of Mr. Jones, a member of AGF’s Advisory Board. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States and serves as a testament to Mr. Jones’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and his enduring commitment to justice and equality.

Mr. Jones served as a close advisor, personal counsel, and draft speechwriter for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His guidance and contributions played a pivotal role during the Civil Rights Movement. Notably, Mr. Jones secretly carried out what would become Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” during the Birmingham Campaign and assisted Dr. King in drafting the “I Have a Dream” speech for the March on Washington in 1963.

During his residency at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, Mr. Jones has helped to preserve Dr. King’s legacy. He has published What Would Martin Say? (2008), Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation (2012), and Last of the Lions: An African American Journey in Memoir (2023). He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of San Francisco

His involvement with The Andrew Goodman Foundation as a member of the Advisory Board has helped to advance AGF’s mission to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy. “Clarence’s wisdom and experience have tremendously enriched our work. His commitment to civil rights and social justice continues to inspire young activists across the nation,” said Rashawn Davis, Executive Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation.

This year also marks the 10th Anniversary of President Barack Obama posthumously awarding Presidential Medals of Freedom to Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Earl Chaney. In 1964, these young activists were murdered in Mississippi while working to register African-American voters during Freedom Summer. Their tragic murders catalyzed national support for the Civil Rights Movement and led to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Their legacy is the cornerstone of AGF’s mission today.

David Goodman, AGF Board Member and friend of Mr. Jones, reflected on this recognition by saying, “I am deeply moved that President Biden awarded Clarence the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This accolade not only celebrates his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, but also echoes the legacy of heroes like my brother, Andrew, and James and Michael, who were posthumously awarded the same honor. These men’s lives remind us that the fight for justice and equality is an enduring one. As we celebrate Clarence, we are reminded of the thread of bravery and sacrifice that ties together our history and future endeavors.”

The Andrew Goodman Foundation is honored to have Clarence B. Jones on its Advisory Board and congratulates him on this well-deserved recognition. His life’s work continues to impact and drive the pursuit of social justice, paralleling AGF’s ongoing commitment to protecting voting rights and engaging young people in the democratic process.

About The Andrew Goodman Foundation

The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training the next generation of leaders, engaging young voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. The organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a Freedom Summer volunteer and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered, alongside James Earl Chaney and Michael Schwerner, by the KKK in 1964 while registering Black Americans to vote in Mississippi. To learn more, visit