El Jones

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El Jones
Jones in 2018
Jones in 2018
OccupationPoet, journalist, columnist, professor
SubjectRacism, colonialism, prison reform, human rights, social justice

El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor and activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was Halifax's Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015.[1]


She was born in Wales and grew up in Winnipeg.[2] Her book, Live From the Afrikan Resistance! published in 2014 by Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing,[3] is a collection of poems about resisting white colonialism.[4] In 2015, she was a resident at the International Writing Program at University of Iowa.[5][6] Her work focuses on social justice issues such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism, and decolonization;[3] she wrote in The Washington Postin June 2020 about "the realities of white-supremacist oppression that black people in Canada have long experienced."[7]

Since 2016, she has co-hosted a radio show called Black Power Hour on CKDU-FM, an educational program which provides information on Black history and culture aimed at incarcerated people.[8] Listeners from prisons call in to rap and read poetry that they have written, providing a voice to people who rarely get a wide audience.[9] She is a contributor to the Halifax Examiner and the Huffington Post Canada.[10] She has taught at Dalhousie University, Acadia University, Nova Scotia Community College, Saint Mary's University and Mount Saint Vincent University.[11] In 2017, she was named the 15th Nancy's Chair in Women's Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.[12]

In 2021, Jones became a contributor to The Breach, an alternative, Canadian news website.[13]

In March 2022 she was amongst 151 international feminists signing Feminist Resistance Against War: A Manifesto, in solidarity with the Feminist Anti-War Resistance initiated by Russian feminists after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[14]

Awards and honours

  • Named a Bold Visionary in 2014 by the A Bold Vision National Leadership Conference.[15]
  • Recipient of the Dr. Allan Burnley (Rocky) Jones Individual Award at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award (2016) for her "commitment to advancing human rights, equity and inclusion."[16]
  • Two-time National Spoken Word Champion.[17]
  • 2017/18 Poet in Residence for Poetry in Voice.[18]


  1. ^ (HRM), Halifax Regional Municipality. "HRM Poet Laureate | Halifax.ca". www.halifax.ca. Archived from the original on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  2. ^ "El Jones". Atlantic Canadian Poets' Archive. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  3. ^ a b Beaumont, Hilary. "El Jones, poetry and power". The Coast Halifax. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  4. ^ "Live from the Afrikan Resistance! | Quill and Quire". Quill and Quire. 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  5. ^ Catharine Tunney, "El Jones, Halifax's poet laureate, moving to Iowa for work". CBC News, July 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "El JONES | The International Writing Program". iwp.uiowa.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  7. ^ El Jones (2020-06-04). "Black Canadians are suffocating under a racist policing system, too". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.
  8. ^ Boon, Jacob. "Black Power Hour offers inmate education over the airwaves". The Coast Halifax. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  9. ^ "Halifax radio show gives inmates outlet on the airwaves | Metro Halifax". metronews.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  10. ^ "El Jones". HuffPost Canada. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  11. ^ "El Jones advocates system change for universities - Dalhousie Gazette". Dalhousie Gazette. 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  12. ^ "Nancy's Chair in Women's Studies". www.msvu.ca. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  13. ^ Wright Allen, Samantha. The Hill Times, "The Breach, new media outlet to launch this spring." 2021-04-12
  14. ^ "Feminist Resistance Against War: A Manifesto". Specter Journal. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  15. ^ "A Bold Vision | Women's Leadership Conference". aboldvision.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  16. ^ "Human rights award recipients honoured". The Chronicle Herald. 2016-12-09. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  17. ^ Up, All Lit. "Poetry in Motion: The Spoken Word as a Tool of Liberation – El Jones". alllitup.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  18. ^ "El Jones | Poetry In Voice". www.poetryinvoice.com. Retrieved 2017-10-24.