By Jocelynn Mireles
Oliver Jones was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1971. His father was a chemist and his mother worked as a secretary.
Jones said, that he remembers his old neighborhood as one where young African American males congregated on the street corners. When Jones was four years old, his family relocated to a blueberry farm in South Haven, Mich., in hopes of finding broader opportunities that were not common in Chicago at the time.
In 1989 Jones graduated from South Haven High School. Eager to explore a new environment, he expressed interest in attending a black college. He was accepted to Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Ga., where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science. Jones later went on to Clark Atlanta University to pursue a master’s degree in political science, where he also became fluent in Spanish.
Soon after college in the fall of 1995, Jones moved to San Antonio, Texas, and began teaching Government at Palo Alto College.
Jones has become an activist for civil rights around campus, where he shares his personal stories of racial discrimination.
On Feb. 2, 2012, he and other faculty members held a civil rights panel encouraging students to become involved in embracing diversity, and the importance of gaining an education.
“Education can be used as a way to broaden people’s perspective,” said Jones. “Tolerance comes through education. Ignorance comes through bigotry.”