Roy L. Jones has a B.A. from Rutgers University, M.A. from Glassboro State College/Rowan University, and M.S. in Business & Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and Doctoral work from Temple University in Urban Education and Mass Communication. While at southern New Hampshire University, Mr. Jones received a U.S. Dept. HUD, Fellowship.
Mr. Jones began his environmental justice work in the 1970s advocating against building an incinerator in Camden, New Jersey. Among some of the environmental justice work and accomplishments completed to date are the following: provided technical assistance to community-based organizations, and organized a series of town meetings about lead in school water systems resulting in over $30 million in infrastructure improvements, successfully advocated for over $325 million dollars to clean-up the Puchak Superfund Well Water Contamination, Gas Mantle Superfund and the Martin Aarons Superfund sites; stopped the export of Radioactive Water to New Jersey’s most over burdened city and drafted recommendations to local, state and federal officials to improve environmental conditions in Camden City and this region. Mr. Jones was also involved in a network with the U.S. Steelworkers Union regarding contamination issues at the DuPont Plant in Deepwater, Salem County, New Jersey. As a result of the DuPont Lawsuit, independent researchers did confirm the presence of PFOA in the blood/urine of DuPont workers and in the water systems three towns in Salem County, near the DuPont Plant. In 2002, he helped organize a massive class-action lawsuit over Camden’s contaminated water affecting over (90,000) residents.
He helped co-found the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance a statewide EJ group, some nine years ago. In terms of awards, Mr. Jones was awarded the 2003 New Jersey Environmental Federation Outstanding Achievement Award and in 2006 was appointed to the State-wide New Jersey Environmental Federation Board of Directors. In 2010, Mr. Jones was among (10) persons nominated by the Philadelphia Inquirer as Person of the Year for his pioneering work that successfully lead to the conservation of Petty’s Island – the largest urban island in the Delaware Valley area. Moreover, in 2007, to support education/advocacy work around the Petty’s Island issue; Mr. Jones secured funding and co-produced a film documentary: Precious Places – A Historical and Ecological Portrait of Petty’s Island and researched and submitted an application to preserve Petty’s Island to the New Jersey Dept. of Historic Preservation and the National Registry of Historic Places. Two million dollars has been designated by the state and CITGO to prepare a national environmental and historical exhibit for area students and tourists.
As a result of work on initiatives around Toxic Schools in New Jersey, New Jersey promulgated new regulations about how and where schools should be built in New Jersey. In 2008, Mr. Jones founded the National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces; Inc. NIHHS addresses environmental justice and community empowerment issues. In 2011, Mr. Jones was featured in a Courier Post News documentary about the nature and context of violence/ poverty in the city of Camden and published a Commentary in the Courier Post, titled: Camden Residents Question Crime Turnaround, “May 2015.
In 2014-2015, Mr. Jones recent environmental justice work includes working with the Parents and Student Union to fight against the dismantling of Camden’s public schools along with the national Journey for Justice Group’s state affiliate. Under the banner of a group called Camden Voice of Action, Mr. Jones and several leaders stopped the massive displacement of over 1,000 Whitman park homeowners and small/minority business owners. In 2015, Mr. Jones helped organize parent group meetings with the Camden superintendent and his staff regarding mold contamination in two elementary schools. Moreover, in February 2016, Mr. Jones prepared an Environmental Justice Working Paper, for the Philadelphia-based Bread and Roses Fund, Regional Town hall Forum on Displacement and Environmental Devastation.
In May 2016, Mr. Jones received the distinguished Rutgers Chancellor’s Award for outstanding Community-Civic Engagement Initiatives. He organized and hosted a major higher education conference, special event and exhibit in partnership with Rutgers University and several university professors and community leaders regarding educational equity and access. The conference was held on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Rutgers campus. Attendance was 285. Moreover, Mr. Jones prepared and successfully secured a NJ Council on the Humanities grant to help underwrite costs for the event. The event achieved extensive media coverage and through the university chancellor, various student groups and professors were able to secure the participation of 1968 Olympian John Carlos in a special evening event with area public school students, athletes, and their families.
In addition, Mr. Jones became a Senior Environmental Fellow in 2008 and is authoring several books: titled:Toxic Schools in New Jersey, Environmental Genocide: Camden New Jersey, and How Machine Politics and Political Bosses Subverted Democracy and Devastated a Great American City. For the last titled book, a book signing is scheduled for March 2020.