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Burnley Rocky Jones

Managing Lawyer

B.A. Rocky Jones & Associates

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B.A. Rocky Jones & Associates

Background Information

Employment History

Managing Lawyer

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

History Teacher

Dalhousie University

Education

Dalhousie University

University of Waterloo

PhD

history

honorary doctorate of law

University of Guelph

Web References (13 Total References)


CBSC | About - The CBSC's Panel Adjudicators

www.ccnr.ca [cached]

Rocky Jones is the Managing Lawyer in the firm of B.A. "Rocky" Jones & Associates in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to his broad area of legal practice, which covers labour law, criminal law, human rights and aboriginal law, among many other fields, "Rocky" has had considerable experience in field of Legal Aid and has been extremely involved in the area of human rights. He has dedicated his formidable energies to various areas of African-Canadian and aboriginal activities, developing agencies, teaching history to African-Canadian and First Nations peoples at Dalhousie University, lecturing throughout North America on the Black Experience, human rights and contemporary issues in the field of Corrections. Jones developed Kwacha House, Eastern Canada's first inner city self-help program, created and set in motion the Hero (Oral History) Project on Black Culture in Nova Scotia and served as the Executive Director of R.O.P.E. (Real Opportunities for Prisoner Employment).


Alternative Views of Nova Scotia's Minorities - Current Social and Political Struggles of the Black Community in Canada

www.ansviews.com [cached]

Roundtable discussion with George Elliott Clarke, Sylvia Hamilton & Burnley "Rocky" Jones

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Burnley Rocky Jones is the Managing Lawyer in the firm of B.A. "Rocky" Jones & Associates in Halifax, Nova Scotia.In addition to his broad area of legal practice, which covers labour law, criminal law, human rights and aboriginal law, among many other fields, "Rocky" Jones has had considerable experience in field of Legal Aid and has been extremely involved in the area of human rights.
Burnley Jones has dedicated his formidable energies to various areas of African-Canadian and aboriginal activities, developing agencies, teaching history to African-Canadian and First Nations peoples at Dalhousie University, lecturing throughout North America on the Black Experience, human rights and contemporary issues in the field of Corrections.Jones developed Kwacha House, Eastern Canada's first inner city self-help programme, created and set in motion the Hero (Oral History) Project on Black Culture in Nova Scotia and served as the Executive Director of R.O.P.E. (Real Opportunities for Prisoner Employment).
Since the late 1960s, Burnley Jones has been a leader in human rights activism in Canada, helping to establish the National Black Coalition of Canada in 1969 and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission in 1970.In recent years, he has been involved in a number of community-based, national and international initiatives, including the case for reparations for slavery in Canada.
Born in Truro, Nova Scotia, Burnley Jones was educated at Dalhousie, and has received an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Guelph.


CBSC | Media Release

www.ccnr.ca [cached]

Rocky Jones is the Managing Lawyer in the firm of B.A. "Rocky" Jones & Associates in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to his broad area of legal practice, which covers labour law, criminal law, human rights and aboriginal law, among many other fields, "Rocky" has had considerable experience in field of Legal Aid and has been extremely involved in the area of human rights. He has dedicated his formidable energies to various areas of African-Canadian and aboriginal activities, developing agencies, teaching history to African-Canadian and First Nations peoples at Dalhousie University, lecturing throughout North America on the Black Experience, human rights and contemporary issues in the field of Corrections. Jones developed Kwacha House, Eastern Canada's first inner city self-help program, created and set in motion the Hero (Oral History) Project on Black Culture in Nova Scotia and served as the Executive Director of R.O.P.E. (Real Opportunities for Prisoner Employment).

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It is equally valuable for us to have Rocky's and Randy's perspective and view on the varied matters which arise under the many other Code articles which come before the Council."


In the following interview, conducted on ...

canlit.ca [cached]

In the following interview, conducted on July 9, 2000, Clarke recounts foundational events and figures from his childhood and youth, including mentors such as activist Rocky Jones and artist and actor Walter Borden.

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I'm thinking of people like Rocky Jones[5] who was very, very influential in the Black community in the '60s and even now, even today, is still influential, but especially back then because he was very interested in trying to import a Martin Luther King/Malcolm X/Black Panther Party[6] model of social change to the Black community in Nova Scotia. And of course that didn't go over all that well because the community was still fairly conservative and especially amongst older Black people, but at the same time, the younger Black people were very interested in what Rocky was saying and trying to do. And so he did get some initiatives going. He helped to organize what became the Black United Front of Nova Scotia, which lasted until 1996, so we had a good twenty-eight year run at least, or slightly more than that, as the pre-eminent Black secular organization in the province. That was basically his idea, although more conservative elements took it over, which always happens, and they remained in place for the next twenty-eight years or so, until finally provincial funding ended. He was also instrumental in getting the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission started, which came about in 1970 as well. That was also Rocky's doing, more or less; an extremely important person in terms of contemporary Black Canadian politics. He got that one going. He then went to Dalhousie where he took an MA in history and got started the transition year program at Dalhousie. It was primarily targeting Black and Micmac[7] youth. And then, what else did he do? I mean he was just involved in everything. But then when I was older, eighteen or nineteen, I started trying to do my own very limited organizing of Black youth in Nova Scotia, Rocky, again was one of those people who was very in my corner giving me advice and support and so on.
...
Rocky wanted to get out of the province, he was from Truro, small Black community in Truro, which is about 100 kilometers from Halifax, and he had had enough when he was a young man. He just had enough of racism and the feeling of just being oppressed in the province. So he got out, joined the Canadian army and then somehow ended up in the US, I am not sure about that part of it.
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That's when I really started getting involved with Rocky and Walter.
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In fact it was Rocky who suggested that I go to the University of Waterloo, which was a really bizarre choice, because there I am a kid in Halifax, I graduated in 1978from high school, I was not really certain I wanted to go to university, not really certain at all.
...
Rocky Jones had an old Bob Dylan album which I now own. I borrowed it and I still have it.
MF: He might find out-
GEC: He might find out. But you know, he had like The Funk Brothers, he had everything from the sixties. Walter was staying there, and Rocky and Joan had this huge house on Windsor Street in Halifax and one room was a library.
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Because Rocky was working in the program, a program he had helped to start.
...
Rocky took part in it as well.
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I think Rocky got fired, Sylvia quit, Walter got fired, I was there when Walter got fired, I mean I wasn't working for them but I was hanging around, and oh yeah, David Woods got fired-our problem was, we kept wanting, but it was provincially funded, it was federally funded.
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But everybody knew, make a phone call from Rocky and Joan's and you know you are going to be in somebody's file forever.
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We got all the people who had been involved in the Central Planning Committee came out of woodwork again, Rocky, Sylvia, etc, and we got things going.


Profile of Rocky Jones : Stephen Kimber

stephenkimber.com [cached]

Journalism > Daily News > Profile of Rocky Jones

...
Profile of Rocky Jones
...
Rocky Jones' tooth is killing him. He needs a dentist but, having just arrived in an unfamiliar city, he doesn't know any. Someone suggests he see a "Dr. Best on Dundas Street. But when Jones shows up for his appointment, he suddenly changes his mind. He'll be all right, he tells the dentist. Just give him a few painkillers and he'll be on his way.
Jones' problem is that the dentist, like Jones, is black. Growing up in Truro, Jones had never once met a black dentist. Or doctor. Or lawyer. Black people, he knew, didn't do those kind of jobs.
He needed a real dentist. A white dentist. He got his painkillers and left.
***
1995. Halifax. Rocky Jones, 53, is riffling through a cardboard carton on the floor in the middle of his cluttered office. He is trying to pin down exactly when it was that Kwacha House - the government-funded Halifax youth project he and his then-wife ran during the late sixties - closed permanently.
The carton is full of RCMP surveillance files. "Listen to this," he says, pulling out a sheet of paper marked SECRET. "Blank - that's me - has been attracting converts by teaching eight-year-olds to make Molotov cocktails and promoting free sex. He shakes his head at the absurdity of it all. "Still," he adds, reaching for another paper from the thousands he obtained through a Freedom of Information request, "this is great for figuring out exactly where you were at any point in time."
During the sixties and seventies, the mounties considered Jones - the same man who, only a few years before, had run away from being treated by a black dentist - one of the most dangerous black radicals in Canada. They believed he was fomenting revolution among what they described as Nova Scotia's otherwise "docile colored population."
Today, some in Canada's criminal justice system still consider Rocky Jones a threat, but for different reasons. Jones is now a lawyer whose weapons of choice are legal briefs and lawsuits. But he can wield them as well as any Molotov cocktail.
***
No one is more surprised that Rocky Jones ended up a lawyer than Jones himself. One of 10 children from an over-achieving Truro family, "I was always the one in the family to fuck up," he recalls with a laugh.
Growing up in Truro's small black community "was the closest, tightest, safest experience a kid could have," Jones recalls. "I had as many mothers as their were women on the street."
Like others of his generation, Jones rarely considered the racism around him - he couldn't bowl in the local alley, couldn't play pool in the pool hall, couldn't eat in certain restaurants. "We were taught at home that we were as good as anyone else," he says, "but we had no experience of blacks in power. I never even considered the idea that black people could be lawyers or hold any kind of position of authority."
Jones, who concedes he preferred hunting and fishing ("it's still my favorite way to relax") to homework, quit school at 16 and joined the army. Three years later, in 1959, Jones took a civilian job driving a tractor-trailer truck in Toronto.
His political and social awakening began there when he met and married his first wife, Joan, an "exceptional" woman "who directed my reading and made me aware of all sorts of things that were going on. (Although they later split up and Jones is now remarried, he still describes her as "one of my best friends. During Kwanza, the black festival, he and his second wife and their 16-year-old daughter often celebrate with Joan and their now five grown children and several grandchildren from the first marriage.)
Jones himself soon became an activist too. Coming home from work one evening, he happened on a demonstration in front of the U.S. consulate. A group of whites were protesting the denial of voting rights to blacks in the U.S. south. At home that night, he and his wife talked about the fact that "it wasn't right for whites to stand up and fight for blacks when no blacks were involved."
They became regulars at the consulate protests where the media soon discovered him. "The press wanted a Canadian Stokely Carmichael. Thanks to "a natural speaking talent - I discovered I could motivate groups" - Jones soon became an in-demand speaker at civil rights demonstrations in the U.S. and Canada.
By 1965, he decided to take his new-found activism home to Nova Scotia, a place he now realized was as racist as any southern U.S. town.
In Halifax, he and Joan helped set up Kwacha House, a Company of Young Canadians' project targeted at inner-city youth. Contrary to the image in the RCMP surveillance reports, Jones says Kwacha House was no school for revolutionaries. "The young people themselves were in control," he explains. "They decided what the priorities should be. Those included everything from turning a vacant north-end lot into a co-operatively run playground to organizing opposition to city plans to create another massive public housing project in their neighborhood.
Kwacha House, unpopular with local politicians and undermined by those secret surveillance reports, closed in 1968.
By then, however, Jones was a force to be reckoned with. He became a key organizer of a huge public rally to protest Halifax's attempt to appoint a city manager who'd been accused of racism in his previous job, and served as an eloquent voice of black anger and frustration during Encounter, a highly-publicized week-long 1970 public forum on Halifax's future.
When he invited some American Black Panthers to visit Halifax, the powers-that-be were so frightened they agreed to finance a new, black-run organization known as the Black United Front.
Even as he was shaking up Nova Scotia society, Jones went back to school to get his BA (and later MA) in history, became a founder and a part-time lecturer in Dalhousie University's Transition Year Program for blacks and natives, organized an oral history project to document the province's black population and even opened his own jewelry boutiques in Scotia Square and Micmac Mall.
"Everything was political," says Jones. The boutique, for example, was designed to show blacks a black-owned business could be successful while giving Jones a platform to press white mall retailers to hire more blacks.
"There were a lot of exciting times," Jones says now. He adds he isn't surprised the RCMP kept tabs on him. "We knew the phone was tapped and we knew we were under general surveillance, but I would never have guessed that they would have people assigned to follow me even when I traveled. While there were funny moments - Jones remembers asking for a lift from a carload of plainclothes' policemen ("You're going to have to follow me anyway," he told them) - other incidents still chill him. He reads from one surveillance report detailing almost everything said at a private meeting. "They had to have somebody in that room," he says angrily.
"We really had a belief then that we could change society," he says.
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Later, after helping organize IBM, Dalhousie University's innovative law program to encourage more blacks and natives to become lawyers, Jones himself became one of the program's first graduates in 1992.
"But law was never a dream for me. It's more of a way of continuing to do the political things I want to do and have a profession that allows me to make a living without being dependent on government."
Politically, Jones says he now considers himself a pan-Africanist.
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Profile of Rocky Jones

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