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Van Jones thanks Jeff Bezos for $100 million award

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Political commentator Van Jones accepted Jeff Bezos’s Courage and Civility Award during a ceremony on Tuesday, thanking the CEO for choosing him to help people achieve their dreams.

“Lauren and Jeff don't do nothing small, man. They don't do anything small. They just don't do it. They dream big, they love big, and they bet big. And you bet on me, and I appreciate it,” Jones said at a news conference after receiving the award that gives recipients $100 million to donate to any charity or nonprofit organization of their choosing.

Bezos, the Amazon and Blue Origin founder who returned from his historic space trip earlier that morning, announced Jones and chef Jose Andres as the recipients of the philanthropic award, which goes to “recognized leaders who aim high, and who pursue solutions with courage and who always do so with civility.”

"It's easy to be courageous, but also mean. Try being courageous and civil. Try being courageous and a unifier. That's harder and way better, [and] it makes the world better," Bezos said while announcing the recipients.

Jones noted that he is not always courageous.

AMAZON FOUNDER JEFF BEZOS MAKES IT TO SPACE

"The only thing I worry about when you say courage — I haven't always been courageous. But I know the people who are, and they get up every day on the front lines of grassroots communities. They don't have much, but they're good people. They fight hard, and they don't have enough support," Jones said in his acceptance speech.

“Can you imagine grassroots folks from Appalachia, from the hood, Native American reservations, having enough money to be able to connect with the geniuses that disrupted the space industry, disrupted taxis and hotels and bookstores, to start disrupting poverty? To start disrupting pollution? To start disrupting the $90 billion prison industry together?" he continued.

Jones said it was these people, with the financial help of Bezos, who would “turn around this nation.”

"If you take people on front lines and their wisdom and their genius and their creativity and you give them a shot, they're not just going to turn around neighbors — they're going to turn around this nation," he said.

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“You have lifted the ceilings off of the dreams of humanity today, and that's an important thing. Don't be mad about it. When you see somebody reaching for the heavens, be glad because a lot more heaven is up there to reach for, and we can do that together,” Jones added.

“We're going to do it,” he concluded. “If this small group of people can make miracles happen in outer space, a bigger group of people can make miracles happen down here.”

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Tags: Jeff Bezos, Van Jones, Amazon

Original Author: Lawrence Richard

Original Location: Van Jones thanks Jeff Bezos for $100 million award

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