Ella Jones was this week elected the first black and first female mayor in the city of Ferguson, Missouri.
Her election is quite notable since this week saw the world join African Americans in their call for an end to police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd. It was in Ferguson where the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum when, in 2014, unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer.
Jones first joined the Ferguson city council in 2015, shortly after Brown’s death, and became the first Black woman to serve in the council.
Jones took 54% of the votes in the mayoral race defeating Heather Robinett who garnered 46% of the votes, the St. Louis County Board of Elections said.
According to the Ferguson city website, Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of Missouri. Before she joined the council, she received training in municipal leadership.
For 30 years she worked as a sales director for beauty brand Mary Kay and served as a pastor in her church. Upon resigning from Mary Kay, Jones went on to serve her community full time. She is a member of several boards and founded a non-profit organisation, Community Forward, Inc.. In this capacity she has, among many other projects, taken part in feeding the underserved and providing school supplies and support to families with school-going children.