Wanda Cooper Jones

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A mother, founder, advocate, and business professional, Wanda Cooper Jones is turning a moment of hate into a movement of love. After the tragic racially-charged murder of her son, Ahmaud Arbery, Cooper Jones’ resilience and mission to keep her son’s name alive led to the start of The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation. 


Ahmaud used fitness as a way to cope with his own mental health challenges. Consequently, the nonprofit organization is a safe space intended to advocate for Black boys and other underrepresented people and communities, bringing awareness to the need for equitable access to resources and support for mental and physical health and education.


Since the loss of her son, Cooper Jones has committed to making significant change and accelerating progress. Her activism, determination, and urgency have led to the passing of Georgia’s hate crime legislation in 2020 and the repeal of Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law in 2021.


In addition to influencing state and federal platforms, Cooper Jones continues to support and impact her local community through the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation scholarship program. With Cooper Jones’ personal belief that education is the key to sustainable advancement and positive opportunities for the youth and communities, the scholarship awards high school seniors of Ahmaud’s alma mater and assists with the students’ higher education aspirations.


Moreover, Cooper Jones is providing strength and support to mothers who have lost children and experienced tragedy. She is a testament that there is life and joy after major devastation.


Cooper Jones is not just a mom but a supportive, victorious leader who is fighting to deliver and be the good news. Her aim is to spark change through Ahmaud’s legacy and promote love, empathy, and equality for all – even when it is hard. 


Speaking Topics - 


  • Why we must lead with love, even when it is hard

  • How empathy can help overcome hate

  • Solving mental health, education, and foundational societal structures most impacting our children

  • How mothers who have lost children can best support one another

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