Dr. Cornel West, esteemed philosopher, activist, educator and public intellectual, has joined J4JA’s fight to bring basic rights to musicians working in New York City’s most affluent jazz clubs.

Dr. West was educated at Harvard and then Princeton University, where he was the first African American to graduate from Princeton with a Ph.D in Philosophy. He has taught at Harvard, and was the Professor of African American Studies at Princeton before leaving in 2011 to take up his current post, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Dr. West has written many books, including Race Matters (1994) and Democracy Matters (2004), and many know him from his frequent appearances as a political commentator on television stations including PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and PBS. He can frequently been seen as an animated and passionate guest on popular, high-profile programs like Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Dr. West embarked on a “ Poverty Tour” in 2011 alongside Tavis Smiley, co-host of his Public Radio Internal program Smiley & West. Poverty is a central piece of his academic practice and he is a passionate advocate for its victims, leaving us with no doubt that he understands intimately the challenges affecting hard working musicians in NYC’s many profitable jazz clubs.

J4JA welcomes Dr. West on board as we continue to fight to gain basic economic fairness for New York’s talented purveyors of jazz.