For Variety’s latest issue, we asked Kim Kardashian West to write a tribute to Van Jones, one of 50 people to make our New Power of New York list. Here’s why Jones, the host of CNN’s “The Van Jones Show,” represents a new generation of movers and shakers that capture the best of Manhattan. For the full list, click here.
I’m honored to call Van Jones both a friend and a mentor. His commitment to helping those in need is something every person — regardless of their view — can admire. It’s undeniable the way his show sheds a light on so many social issues that desperately need visibility. And as founder of The Dream Corps, Van creates opportunities for people who have been wronged by our flawed justice system.
Van and I connected because I was so drawn to all of his selfless work. He empowers people to use their platforms for good and works very hard to make sure those who don’t have a voice are heard. After discussing prison reform on his show, I saw firsthand just how many people are in awe of his work. Van is the hope that so many people need.
Van and I had both been involved in Alice Marie Johnson’s case — and while her freedom was a major win, there are so many other unfairly incarcerated people who need to have their voices heard. The world needs more people like Van, who’s so incredibly devoted to his social work each and every day.
Recently, we traveled to Washington, D.C., a second time to speak to the president about pardoning others who have been wrongfully convicted. Yet again, it was so apparent how committed Van is to the fight for people who don’t have the resources to speak up for themselves. I’m so glad to be on this journey alongside him, and I simply couldn’t ask for a better friend and mentor.
Kim Kardashian West is the executive producer and star of E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”