Julius Jones Papers and Photographs
linear feet (7 boxes)
Julius Jones became the first African-American chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh YMCA in 1979, a position he held for 23 years. As CEO, Jones oversaw 17 YMCA locations throughout Allegheny County which serve over 50,000 people, and campaigned to raise capital to enhance the organization’s presence and impact in the community. The Julius Jones Papers and Photographs contain correspondence and paperwork created in his role as CEO of the Pittsburgh YMCA, administrative materials documenting Jones’ involvement with global YMCA initiatives, various planning reports and informational booklets, photographs of YMCA functions, and audiovisual material featuring promotional spots and interviews with Jones.
The material in this collection is in English.
Senator John Heinz History Center
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
This collection has been made accessible as part of an NHPRC-funded Basic Processing grant.
The guide to this collection was written by
Alex J. Toner.
Julius Jones was born in 1935 in Greensboro, Ga., where he grew up with his father, Julius, mother Cora, and brother Cleveland. Jones graduated from Morehouse College in 1963, and promptly began a career with the YMCA that spanned 40 years, 23 of which were spent in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is married to Rosalind Jones and the two have two children together; Michael and Vicki.
Jones first began working with the YMCA in Jacksonville, Fl., in 1963, where he was employed as a program director. Four years later he was appointed executive director of the YMCA in Nashville, Tenn., and in 1972 he moved on to the metropolitan YMCA of Washington D.C., where he served for eight years as associate general executive as well as director of operations.
In 1979, Jones became the first African-American chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh YMCA, where he oversaw 17 locations throughout Allegheny County which serve over 50,000 people. Jones worked to expand the YMCA’s presence within the community by refurbishing older buildings and facilities, and raising monetary resources through multi-million dollar capital campaigns. Jones also provided guidance during efforts in the 1990s to dissuade urban youth from joining gangs. With support from other community leaders, Jones established Emanon within the YMCA, which provided work for inner-city youth refurbishing computers and landscaping at neighborhood parks. During its nine year existence, Emanon severed over 500 youths. Jones also brokered meetings with gang leaders at the downtown YMCA, providing a neutral site for negotiations.
Jones participated in the YMCA World Urban Network (YWUN), a YMCA initiative for discovering new ways to serve urban populations around the world. YWUN started in the late 1970s as a forum for YMCA executives to discuss strategies for progressing urban YMCA environments. The first official YWUN conference was in Japan in 1979, attended by over 100 executives representing 77 Urban YMCAs in 35 countries.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Julius Jones Papers and Photographs contain correspondence and other records related to his role as CEO of the Pittsburgh YMCA, including: administrative materials documenting Jones’ involvement with global YMCA initiatives such as the World Urban Network and the African Alliance; planning reports, publications, informational booklets from the 1980s and 1990s; day-planners and calendars; photographs of YMCA functions, and audiovisual materials featuring promotional spots and interviews with Jones. Additionally, there are two wrapped shelve items: a photograph album containing images from a YMCA awards banquet, and materials from a African Alliance initiative.
Series I: Biographical material (1979-2003), box 1
Box one contains a small amount of biographical material on Julius Jones.
Series II: Pittsburgh YMCA, 1980s-1990s, box 2
These materials relate to programs and operations throughout the local Allegheny County network of YMCAs. There are strategic planning documents, various meeting minutes, supplemental reports, administrative correspondence, and material related to projects such as the East End Youth Outreach Program of 1996.
Series III: YMCA World Urban Network, 1979-1990s, box 3
This box consists primarily of materials from YWUN conferences Jones attended as the CEO of the YMCA of Pittsburgh during the 1980s and 1990s.
Series IV: African Alliance, 1980s-1990s, box 4
The Pittsburgh YMCA became an International Office of the YMCA of the USA focusing on Africa in 1985. The director of the international office was Desta Girma, in coordination with the African Alliance of YMCAs, who directed the cultivation of YMCA institutions in several African countries, among them Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. There are information packets about ongoing operations, administrative correspondence, contracts, newspaper clippings, and some conference materials.
Series V: Reports, 1979-2003, box 5
There are a variety of campaign, strategic planning, and fundraising reports, as well as community information packets, and YMCA employee manuals and guides. These are mostly all bound or in booklet form.
Series VI: Notes and Day-Planners, 1979-2003, box 6
Jones kept annotated daily planners and calendars of his schedule and obligations covering the years 1979-1987 and 1995-1998. There are notepads containing handwritten notes taken by Jones during meetings and conferences he attended. Also, a significant number of thank you notes, cards, and congratulatory letters are found in this box written to Jones which recognize various professional accomplishments and achievements.
Series VII: Audiovisual Materials, 1993-2001, box 7
There are a number of photographs depicting YMCA functions, as well as staff celebrations. Five VHS tapes contain YMCA fundraising coverage from 2001 from local Pittsburgh stations such as KDKA and WPXI. There are seven audio cassettes, several of which contain interviews with Jones from 1993 and 2001.
The Julius Jones Papers and Photographs are housed in seven boxes have been separated into seven series, including two wrapped items:
- I. Biographical Material, box 1
- II. Pittsburgh YMCA, box 2
- III. YMCA World Urban Network, box 3
- IV. African Alliance, box 4
- V. Reports, box 5
- VI. Notes and Day-Planners, box 6
- VII. Audiovisual Materials, box 7
Controlled Access Terms
- Young Men's Christian Association (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
- YMCA of Metropolitan Pittsburgh.
- Social Services--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
Access and Use
Gift from Julius Jones in 2005.
Archives accession # 2005.0007
Julius Jones Papers and Photographs, 1979-2003, MSS 0789, Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center
Preliminary processing by Alex J. Toner on 05/21/12.
Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.