Ben Jealous Continues His Civil Rights Fight ‘by Any Means That Works’

After stepping down as president of the NAACP, the civil rights organization’s youngest-ever leader joins the Kapor Center for Social Impact to expand tech opportunities for black and Latino youths.

Benjamin Jealous
Benjamin Jealous SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Jealous says he’s looking forward to being part of “a diverse team of geniuses who are all focused on large-scale social problems.”

When he was growing up in Northern California, Jealous says, he was “the only black kid on a desegregation bus on the way from Monterey to Seaside,” riding several hours every day to a magnet school for up-and-coming computer scientists.

But as he got older, his career took him into civil rights, politics and journalism—including a stint as the executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a syndication service for traditional African-American print media, where he helped bring black newspapers online.

And now he’s come full circle to the tech field.

His opportunity with Kapor, says Jealous, “speaks to that boy in me” who rode the bus to the magnet school, and “feeds the curious geek in me” who embraces technology and wants to help widen the embrace of technology in his community.