Campus Celebrity: Korin “Koko” Jones

 

This week’s Campus Celebrity goes to Korin Jones, a third year Political Science major Criminal Justice minor on the Pre-law track from Oakland, California! This God-fearing woman is all about her business, her resume speaks for itself! Let’s learn more about Korin and her new organization on campus called Beautiful Black People (BBP)!

HC: Why did you decide to attend Hampton University?

KJ: I am first generation, I knew I wanted to go somewhere where I could be around people that looked like me and be around people with end goals surrounded around black excellence. Being surrounded around like-minded individuals that want to see other people thrive, especially people like us who have a disadvantage in society socially, politically, and economically. I chose Hampton not only because it is an illustrious HBCU, but also because I got a scholarship for orchestra.

 

HC: What are your goals after graduating from Hampton University?

KJ: After leaving Hampton University, I am going to go straight to UC Berkeley, the #7 law school in the country and get my J.D. After that, I plan to get my Masters in public policy, and then Doctor's Degree, then I will be one of the first in my family not only with a college degree, a master’s degree, a law degree and a doctor's degree. I plan on practicing law as well as working in the Senate, Congress, and I will eventually be the President of the United States.

 

HC: What or who inspires you to keep moving forward?

KJ: I would say the legacy of Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale and Assata Shakur. My family also inspires me, so my parents and my siblings are rooting for me. Struggle really makes you. There are people back home who are really rooting for me because I’m one of the few that made it out, and when I say make it out, I mean folks who had the opportunity to pursue higher education, folks who did not break the never ending cycle of low expectations. That’s what is really keeping me going. Getting my degree, getting my bag, and letting our people know, they can reach their fullest potential no matter where you come from.

HC: What was your driving force in creating Beautiful Black People?

KJ: BBP basically defines me. It defines me as a whole. I think that this generation has a lot of pressure on us. We think about our ancestors who fought for us and see how dedicated they were to the revolution. They died for us and look at us, we turned our cheeks, we turn our backs and we don’t speak up. We allow things to get swept under the rug and we allow things to get marginalized, and I think that we need more organizations that tackle these issues at HBCU's, especially at Hampton being that we rank as the second HBCU nationally. I know that I am not born to fit in, I’m born to stand out. I had to make my own organization to follow my own vision. BBP is an empowering, black revolutionary organization solely breaking down the purpose of Black Lives Matter through freedom of expression. Knowledge is power and education is key. My overall driving force is authenticity.

 

HC: What are some of your goals for BBP?

KJ: I want BBP to become the only spoken word, freedom of expression, powerful, revolutionary organization on campus. I just brought it on campus and I am blessed to say, it has already become that look. There is not a spoken word or freedom of expression group on campus. We need to be the voice for the voiceless and give hope for the hopeless. My goal is to spark something powerful, not only on campus but worldwide. I’m trying to get it on other campuses, and schools such as Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, and NSU have contacted me, in hopes to get a BBP chapter on their campus. That is a selfless change, sparking minds all around you. We are the change we seek.

HC: Who do you look up to for inspiration?

KJ: I look up to Angela Davis. I love my family to death too, but Angela Davis and Assata Shakur drive me. Being radical black girls, you know back in the day was seen as a horrible and blatant thing to say way more than it is now and they fought through. Angela Davis was a woman leading the Black Panther Party, which was led by mostly men and now she is a professor at UC Santa Cruz. That is powerful. Davis was able to remain resilient, persevere through school and get two degrees. Our country told her she would be nothing and now she’s teaching college students her wisdom, knowledge and sparking immediate change to the next generation. That enlightens every bone in my body. That inspires me, I am working hard to have a voice larger than my immediate community to affect national change.

 

HC: What is one thing you can’t live without?

KJ: I can’t live without faith, because even when everything might not be going well, nobody could ever take faith away from me. There are people who are homeless, in prison or dying in this moment. No one can not take away their faith, their hope of the next day coming forward. Mumia Abu Jamal, a political prisoner, who has gotten stripped away from his freedom for 30 years.. 30 years I say, however this man still does a Youtube outreach radio every Wednesday about police brutality in America. Abu’s hope and faith has never died. People ask me how do you do it girl! How are you so involved, still try to excel academically and still have time for yourself? In reality, I am still not even close to where I wanna be. I have high expectations and goals I have to reach. I have faith and I know that God has a plan for me. If I didn’t have faith I know that I wouldn’t have came this far.

 

HC: How do you plan to change Hampton’s campus with BBP?

KJ: I plan on changing Hampton’s campus through BBP because of its selfless, outspoken organization. The people that are in it are involved because they authentically want to be. The reason why BBP is so different is because if you study the Black Panther Party, they never asked members for money. They fundraised together. I don’t have any dues for BBP because I don’t feel that that is necessary for you to share your wisdom, let’s fundraise together. BBP is authentic. I think here are certain parts about hampton that need to change, not hampton as a whole. Hamptons history here is rich, and founded intended for all African Americans to see the value in learning and succeeding. I want our campus to get back to everyone being able to walk around, saying hey my brotha, my sista, king, queen or even your name. We have become accustomed to not speak in the hallways, and in our prospective schools. As I speak to professors, and faculty members, It never use to be like that!

 

HC: If there was anything you could change in the world, what would it be?

KJ: I would change the inequitable parts of the world. Equity means equal access, and we do not have that. It correlates to everything,if folks had equal access, more African Americans would be in school, and not in prison.More folks of color, would rank wealthy just as well as others. Our system as a whole would change.

 

HC: What advice would you give to your younger self?

KJ: I would tell my younger self that resiliency or struggle makes you. I would tell my younger self that God takes people out of your life that will only hinder you from the next path that he is trying to take you to next, and that was something I did not understand. Now, I definitely do.

 

Follow Korin on social media to keep up with her and Beautiful Black People!

Instagram: @marie_mylice, @hu_bbp