Philanthropy: Alexis Jones, ProtectHER

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Stopping locker room talk. 

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, the younger sister to four football playing older brothers, Alexis Jones learned from a young age how to hold her own against the bros. After moving to Los Angeles to complete her undergraduate and masters degrees at USC, she scored a job working as a red carpet correspondent, which later opened doors to hosting gigs for CBS, MTV, TLC and ESPN.

“I realized the power of the entrainment industry and storytelling. I was obsessed with traveling, loved to talk and nothing lit me up more than inspiring people to chase down their dreams. So I made up a job where I got to do all of that for a living.” That job was creating I AM THAT GIRL — a nonprofit organization helping girls transform self-doubt into self-love — when she was just 19. Jones is all about digging up the guts; taking a leap of faith and going for it. “And by that I literally mean making business cards that said, ‘Founder/ CEO of I AM THAT GIRL’ and it didn't even exist yet. I'm a big fan of ‘go for it and figure it out later!’

Today, Jones is shifting her focus from empowering women to educating young men. Her newest initiative, ProtectHer, campaigns to redefine manhood and stop the epidemic of campus sexual assault, starting in the hotbed: the men’s locker room. “By rebranding what it means to be a man, I hope to empower male athletes to raise the bar for all men on campus to begin respecting and protecting their fellow female students,” says the future-minded travel junkie with her sights set on a better world for men and women. Jones does not take lightly her mission on this planet to “empower people, show them a glimpse of what they are capable of, and invite them to follow suit.” To this end, she wouldn’t rule out a career in politics — “I think Texas could use more women in leadership.” Don’t tease us!

"I hope to empower male athletes to raise the bar for all men."

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But to inspire legions of young and men and women, Jones says, requires an enormous amount of self-care. Ever the selfless ally and advocate, she swears by a mantra of ‘Put you first’ and preaches the many merits of ‘me time.’ “We look at self care as some kind of selfish ‘me time’ that's a luxury and it's absolutely mandatory for me, especially because I travel so much. So when I'm meditating, writing in my prayer journal, working out, eating well, and spending quality time with my tribe, I'm absolutely the best version of me and I feel unstoppable.”

Aside from ample alone time, Jones credits family, faith, and tribe as the backbone to success and perseverance. That, and good ol’ sweat therapy in the form of hiking, biking, kickboxing, and cycling. “My faith is my inexhaustible fuel, and my tribe are the tune ups along the way that keep me from breaking down.”

Her parents, too, have been an invaluable influence, providing endless cheerleading along the way. “I'm a billionaire in love. I always say that. The greatest Ace I have up my sleeve is that I have known unconditional love my entire life; so everything else ‘accomplish’ is just icing on the cake.”

With ProtectHer, Jones calls upon her extensive sports broadcasting background (and four older brothers) to speak to and relate to men. Her primary concern is ending domestic violence in sports and sexual assault on college campuses, and to encourage men — particularly male athletes —  to better respect the girls and women in their lives, and to set this precedent.

The future of women’s rights, Jones says, is addressing this “pandemic levels of sexual assault happening on college campuses,” and even more importantly, the kinds of “education and prevention programs we are mandatorily integrating to address these issues,” which are currently pathetically insufficient. Through book clubs, movie and documentary viewing parties or even just wine night, Jones supports the idea that “women need women and often times need permission to prioritize themselves.”

“Women need women and often times need permission to prioritize themselves.”

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Whether this permission comes in the form of I AM THAT GIRL’s more than 175 local chapters, or giving an ESPN talk to the top 18 high-school quarterbacks in the US in hopes of reprogramming the cycle of misogyny and violence, Jones will continue to create opportunities for women to “fill their tanks and give them safe place to be seen, to be heard, and to feel that they truly belong.” SHE IS THAT GIRL.

Styling provided by Reservoir LA. Hair and makeup provided by Glamsquad. Photography courtesy of Light Lab and Woodnote Photography.