Assistant dean of community engagement, Franklin University
About: Chenelle Jones is a national voice for racial justice and police reform and holds a doctorate in justice administration from Texas Southern University. With over 10 years of experience in higher education leadership, she is assistant dean of community engagement at Franklin University, where she oversees strategic direction of the Center for Public Safety and Cybersecurity Education and the Global Center for Healthcare Education. She also serves as the chair of Franklin’s Criminal Justice Administration, Emergency Management/Homeland Security and Public Safety Management and Leadership programs. Jones serves as national director of Research for the Teen and Police Service Academy, a federally funded program designed to reduce social distance between police officers and youth.
Columbus needs sweeping police reform, improved public safety, health care and more affordable housing opportunities.
Outside of work: Jones organized Come Together Columbus and the Black Excellence March: Ladies Edition, where nearly 3,000 Black women convened on Columbus City Hall to march in solidarity with the movement calling for police reform. She also helped organize the Youth Justice March, which galvanized Columbus youth calling for police reform. Jones serves on the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission, as a member of the Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment Team for Franklin County, on the Board of the Grant Medical Center Foundation. Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Create Columbus Commission, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and Racial Democracy and Criminal Justice Network.
What does Columbus need to thrive? Columbus needs sweeping police reform, improved public safety, health care and more affordable housing opportunities. With a four-year graduation rate in Columbus City Schools of 78 percent, Columbus needs more programs to support students as they learn virtually and in face-to-face formats. Columbus also needs to expand transportation options.
Jones’ idea: The Future 50 class could partner with Columbus City Schools to mentor 50 students. They can identify a service project that would promote mentoring, give students a voice in identifying an issue in their community, and give them the support to help solve that issue.