Justin Jones for Congress is a grassroots campaign fighting for working people across Middle Tennessee.
Our communities are working longer hours for lower wages while corporations make record profits and executives collect million-dollar bonuses. Our city has become a playground for the wealthy few while a vast majority of us struggle to pay rent, buy groceries, and afford basic healthcare.
We are challenging a political system that has catered to corporate interests for decades. We believe that healthcare is a human right. We believe that young people should not have to live their entire lives under the burden of student loan debt. We believe that all should feel safe and welcome in our country and our communities. We believe that we must end mass incarceration and end for-profit prisons. We believe that environmental justice is a defining fight of our generation and it must be led by the communities who suffer most from our continued inaction—black, brown, indigenous, and working class.
Our country needs a political revolution. We need new leaders who have the courage to step up and join the conversation to reimagine entire systems.
If we want the kind of change that we are proposing—ending the student debt crisis, fighting for environmental justice and immgration justice, providing healthcare for all people in our country—we need a movement. This is about the courage to reimagine our country, build a just society and fight for a livable planet for ourselves and our children. This moment demands a new generation of leaders in Congress.
Justin Jones is an activist, graduate student, and community organizer in Nashville. Born in Oakland, California, he grew up in the East Bay where he attended public school and learned at an early age the importance of speaking up for equality for all. His mother, Christine, raised Justin and his sister while putting herself through nursing school. She’s now a registered nurse active in the California chapter of National Nurses United. He is the grandson of black, working-class grandparents from the South Side of Chicago and Filipino immigrants who migrated to California during the Vietnam War. Growing up, his family, especially his two grandmothers, taught him the importance of community involvement, care for the environment, and spirituality.
In high school, Justin served as his city’s Youth Commissioner and began organizing for the civil rights of students and policies that ensured racial equity, environmental protections, and inclusivity. Justin first saw the power of community organizing as part of a successful campaign to force a recall election of three city council members involved in financial mismanagement and corrupt practices. In high school, he found himself on the front lines of organizing in Oakland following the murder of Trayvon Martin and during student campaigns to repeal nationwide Stand Your Ground laws.
His activism has brought him from the streets of Oakland to Ferguson, Missouri; from ceremonies of resistance in Standing Rock to the Office of the Governor in the Tennessee State House.
Justin came to Fisk University in 2013, where he received the John R. Lewis Scholarship for Social Activism. Inspired by its legacy of the student-led movement for civil rights, Justin became involved on campus and in community groups and spent his four years organizing student campaigns for the expansion of healthcare in Tennessee, the repeal of restrictive state voter ID laws, and community accountability in cases of police brutality against unarmed black victims. He served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Healthcare Campaign and has led actions at the Legislature, and across the South, for the expansion of Medicaid. In 2015, Justin helped file a federal lawsuit against the State of Tennessee for its restrictive voter ID laws that targeted students. He has chaired the Nashville Student Organizing Committee and is a recipient of awards from the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, ACLU of Tennessee, Tennessee Alliance for Progress, Fisk University Alumni Association, the Vanderbilt Organization of Black Graduate Students, and the Nashville NAACP.
Justin is in his second year at Vanderbilt Divinity School pursuing a Masters’ in Theological Studies. At Vanderbilt, he focuses on spirituality and social activism. He sees faith communities as essential gathering spaces for solidarity and connection in our shared pursuit of justice and the beloved community. He continues to preach in congregations around the city. Justin lives in East Nashville with his dog, Denali.