The Root 100 - The Most Influential African Americans in 2020 - 44: Mondaire Jones

Oleg Dyachenko
·1 min read

Mondaire Jones has an impressive track record: A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, he worked as an attorney in Westchester County, N.Y., before spending time in the Department of Justice during the Obama administration. His future is looking even brighter. This year, Jones bagged a win in the Democratic primary for New York's 17th Congressional District, collecting big-name endorsements from progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and even the New York Times along the way. That victory all but guarantees that Jones will be voted into Congress on Election Day-and as one of its first openly gay Black members. This young champion of progressive policies is all about upending expectations and entering rooms once barred to people like him in America. Jones has said that his campaign for Congress was inspired by the hard-fought struggles of his own family to find the American dream-like his mother, who worked multiple jobs; his grandfather, who grew up in Jim Crow Virginia; and his grandmother, who cleaned homes for a living.