Building a better world — that has been Vicki Jones’ goal from the start, from her longtime work with nonprofits such as Goodwill Industries and AARP to her latest role as president of the Harford County NAACP. In two years with the organization, Jones has led a drive to rename two public schools named for slave owners during the Revolutionary War; organized a Civil Rights Tour of the county for October; arranged a first-time NAACP presence in this year’s Fourth of July parades in Bel Air and Havre de Grace; and planned a 5K race, in November, to honor a longtime member.
“I want us to be seen, felt and heard in the county,” said Jones, 50, a graduate of Bel Air High and Howard University. “I wake up, excited to make a change. That’s the fire in the belly.”
Here are three things you might like to know about Jones:
Traveling broadened her view of social justice.
“I’m a military brat and have lived or worked in 42 states. That has given me a unique perspective on life in this county. I’ve seen what diversity and equality look like, and I have the fire to bring it to the place I’ve decided to call home.”
Her job pays homage to her roots.
“I was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, to a mother from [nearby] Montgomery, so it’s in my blood to be doing this kind of work. It makes sense because civil rights poured out of those two places. I have memories as a child of being at home in the 1970s and hiding because the Ku Klux Klan was going to march down the street; I was too young to know what was going on, but I knew [the KKK] was bad. It was an emotional experience.”
She’s a storyteller at heart.
“Writing is my hobby. I’m big into ‘true crime,’ and my short stories are reflective of that — whodunits where I try to understand the minds of what makes people tick. I’ve done about 10 stories, but I’m a horrible finisher — I’ll write about 20 chapters for each and then put it aside. I build up and build up, but I’m never sure how to end it. My dream, when I retire, is to sit in front of the ocean and finish those stories.”