May 13, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COUNTY MANAGER JONES HONORED BY URBAN LEAGUE
Charlotte, NC – Mecklenburg County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr. was honored by the Urban League of the Central Carolinas as the recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. This annual award conferred by the Urban League recognizes people whose life and work promote long-term financial stability for local underserved families, and racial inclusion.
Jones was selected for his outstanding service to the Urban League and his consistent contributions to the community, according to Urban League officials. "The Whitney M.Young Gala is our agency's premiere event," said Dr. Patrick Graham, president and CEO of the Urban League of the Central Carolinas. "We carefully considered a variety of outstanding nominees before making our final selection."
Also honored with the award was Dr. Ruth G. Shaw, executive advisor to Duke Energy's chairman, president and CEO. "I'm doubly honored to receive the award along with my friend Ruth Shaw," Jones said.
The award is named for Whitney Moore Young Jr., an African-American civil rights leader who spent most of his career working to end employment discrimination in the United States. As president of the National Urban League from 1961 until his death a decade later, Young is credited with transforming the organization into a powerful civil rights advocate.
The Urban League of Central Carolinas is a multi-service, non-profit agency organized in 1978, and outlines its mission "to promote financial stability among African-American families and others, and racial inclusion in our community." Their range of programs benefits those in need of education, skills training, career development, employment services, and youth programs, and serves people from all economic levels.
A past Urban League of Central Carolinas board member, Jones was named Mecklenburg County manager in 2000. He had served as assistant county manager since 1991. Prior to joining Mecklenburg County, he was housing compliance director for the City of Dallas, Texas. He is a native of Pinehurst, NC.
In April 2007, members of the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation elected Jones to a three-year term on the Foundation's board of directors. The Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation supports the work of selected tax exempt healthcare, educational and social service organizations, seeking to assist projects designed to improve the quality of life for women, children, the elderly and the poor.
In November 2006, Jones was elected a fellow to The National Academy of Public Administration, an independent, non-partisan organization chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability.
Among his other accomplishments, Jones was named to the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors in 2006; was elected president of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, a 2,500-member organization, in 2005 and re-elected in 2006; was also elected a charter member of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association and a member of the board of directors of the Carolinas Conference of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. He currently serves on the board of directors of Metro-YMCA of Greater Charlotte, the Wachovia Championship, Champions for Education, Inc., United Way of Central Carolinas (ex-officio), and the Charlotte Regional Partnership (ex-officio).
He holds a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned an associate of arts degree from Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, NC.
Jones has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including: Pride Magazine Public Service Award, 2006; N.C. Association of County Commissioners Outstanding County Program Award for "Establishing Ethical Expectations," 2003; Morehouse Alumni Association Community Service "Beacon of Light" Award, 2002; and the Charlotte Post "People of Prominence" Award, 2001