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CNN host, political commentator, Emmy Award–winning producer, and author of three New York Times best-selling books Van Jones will deliver the seventh annual Mossman Distinguished Lecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Van Jones’s lecture “Rebuild the Dream” will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 26, in the Alumni Memorial Building Cox Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

CNN Redemption Project with Van Jones, 549793
Van Jones

Jones is the founding CEO of REFORM Alliance, an initiative founded to transform the criminal justice system. He has been a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than 25 years and has founded and led organizations including Color of Change, Rebuild the Dream, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and the Dream Corps.

Jones has stewarded several bipartisan legislative and advocacy efforts, racking up wins under four US presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump.

He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act of 2007—the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term green jobs—which has resulted in $500 million in national funding for green jobs training. In 2009, as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House, Jones oversaw an $80 billion investment in skills training and jobs development within the environmental and green energy sectors.

His most recent victory was advocating successfully for the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, which the New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation.

The Mossman Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by an estate gift from the late Ken and Blaire Mossman, who met in Knoxville in 1968 while pursuing their degrees at UT.

Ken Mossman earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in health physics and radiation biology through the Institute of Radiation Biology, a joint program of UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in 1970 and 1973. Blaire Mossman earned a bachelor’s degree in French from UT in 1971.

In 2018 the university dedicated the Ken and Blaire Mossman Building in their honor. The building is designed for collaborative research and features the latest in teaching technology.


Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993,