NAN Kicks Off Black History Month Honoring Jennifer Jones Austin

Every day during Black History Month the National Action Network will honor chapter leaders, advocates, and partners who are shaping Black History now.

(February 1st, 2021) — For the first day of Black History month, we honor Jennifer Jones Austin.

A fourth-generation leader of faith and social justice, Jennifer Jones Austin fights for equity. As CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member agencies and faith partners, she has led and secured monumental changes in social policy to strengthen and empower the disenfranchised and marginalized. Jennifer brings to her work a profound understanding of the link between race, poverty, and social policy in America and the role religion plays in addressing injustice.

Prior to joining FPWA, Ms. Jones Austin served as Senior Vice President of the United Way of New York City; the City of New York’s first Family Services Coordinator; Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services; Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer; and Vice President for LearnNow/Edison Schools, Inc.

Jones Austin has chaired several influential boards and commissions, including the Mayoral Transition for Bill de Blasio, the NYC Procurement Policy Board, and the NYS Supermarket Commission, and the Community Engagement for Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez’s Justice 2020 Initiative. She currently serves as a Board Member of the National Action Network; Chair of the NYC Board of Correction, where she is promulgating rules to end solitary confinement; Member of the Feerick Center for Social Justice Advisory Board; member of the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior Advisory Board at Harvard University; lead advisor for the NYPD Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, for which she has already played a key role in achieving presumptive terminations for policing violations resulting in death or serious injury; and member of the COVID-19 “Roll Up Your Sleeves” Task Force created to ensure vaccine information and equitable access in Black communities.