Alethia will join our faculty as Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies commencing with the spring 2023 semester. Alethia is no stranger to SLU—as Co-Associate Director of The Murphy Institute from 2000-2001 she helped launch our Union Semester program, and she currently is a member of the Board of the SLU Foundation. Alethia’s wide experience includes serving as Director of the Fellowships Program for the Open Society Foundations, and as Director of Education and Leadership Development for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. She has taught at SUNY Albany and M.I.T., and held fellowships at the University of Virginia, Mount Holyoke College, and the Ford Foundation. Alethia holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, and an M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.
Alethia Jones is the director of the Open Society Fellowship Program. Prior to joining Open Society, Jones directed education and leadership development for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest health care union local in the United States. She led a team that crafted customized
learning experiences to deepen the movement building capacity of members and staff. Jones began her career managing policy initiatives for New York City’s first female Caribbean-born council member, Una Clarke, and subsequently held faculty positions in urban politics and public policy.
Jones’s teaching, writing, and consulting address immigrant integration, informal community banking, urban and racial politics, U.S. health care, and worker rights. She currently serves on the board of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Foundation and Training for Change. She has advised the \ Advancing Black Strategists Initiative’s Movement Fellows Program (Jobs with Justice) and the Leadership Center for Democracy and Social Justice at CUNY.
Jones has received fellowships from Coro, the Ford Foundation, MIT, the University of Virginia, and Yale University and consulted for nonprofit and labor organizations. Jones taught at MIT, Yale, Mount Holyoke College, and SUNY-Albany, in addition to teaching comparative urban studies in Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam. She is co-editor of the award-winning book, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith (with Virginia Eubanks).
Jones has a PhD in political science from Yale University and a BA in urban studies and cultural anthropology from Columbia University.