Senator Doug Jones Identifies Oakwood University as Key to Huntsville’s Economic Future

Washington, DC-2018 Senator Doug Jones has spent his life working to make Alabama a better place. He was born in Fairfield in 1954, to a U.S. Steel worker and a stay-at-home mom. He grew up in Alabama during a period of great change, and played a critical part of helping the state and her people overcome some of their darkest days. His early years forged his values and a deep sense of responsibility to treat everyone with dignity and respect. As a product and life-long resident of the state, Senator Jones represents the best qualities of what it means to be an Alabamian. The Senator grew up during the tumultuous era of the desegregation of Alabamaís public schools. But from childhood, he was drawn to both leadership and to fighting for what was right. He also found a love for politics and organizing. Through volunteering ñ campus affairs at Alabama, a statewide campaign to modernize Alabamaís court system, and Young Democrats ñ the power of one, determined young person became clear to him. He later served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama beginning in 1997. It was while serving in this position that Senator Jones successfully prosecuted two of the four men responsible for the 16th street church bombings - finally getting justice for the four little girls after more than 30 years. Along with taking on the Ku Klux Klan, he prosecuted terrorists like Eric Rudolph, and many others who sought to use fear, hatred, and violence to inhibit the rights of others. Senator Jones took that same passion with him when he ran in the 2017 Special Senate Election in Alabama and became the first Democratic senator elected from the state in 25 years. He understands that public service is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of making the country better for all Americans, not just those who look like us or agree with our politics. He will continue to fight for every Alabamian in the Senate to increase affordable access to healthca

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by Maquisha Mullins, interim director, Integrated Marketing & Public Relations

Oakwood University is an important member of the economy of Huntsville and Northern Alabama, and its students could play an integral role in Huntsville’s bid to serve as home base for the renaissance of the nation’s space program.
The Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce hosted the Washington Update Luncheon where Senator Doug Jones was the featured speaker. Senator Jones provided insights into the critical decisions that congressional leaders are making regarding the U.S. Space program. He shared how he is advocating for the State of Alabama to have a significant role in the future of space exploration. 
Senator Jones identified Oakwood along with Alabama A&M University and J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College, each a historically Black college or university, as places employers should look for future members of their workforce.  “Everyone needs to have equal opportunities,” Jones remarked when referring to the value members of underrepresented groups offer the Huntsville area economy. 

(Left to right) Alicia Ryan, vice chair of Government and Public Affairs, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Tommy Battle, City of Huntsvile; Senator Doug Jones; Kimberly Lewis, 2019 Board Chair, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Paul Finley, City of Madison.
 Mr. Dana Gresham (center), chief of staff for Senator Jones, met with Oakwood University Provost Colwick Wilson (left) and took an afternoon tour of Oakwood’s campus following the luncheon. Development officer Miriam Battles (right) served as tourguide, and shared the university’s history and current academic and community initiatives with Mr. Gresham.

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About Oakwood University

The mission of Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.