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2018 African/African American Heritage Award: Binyamin Jones '07

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Binyamin is pictured with Dominican University President Donna Carroll and Basketball Head Coach Mark White. 

Binyamin Jones '07 was announced as the winner of the 2018 African/African American Heritage Award.

Binyamin is an eight-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department and was recently promoted to Field Training Officer. Binyamin attended Dominican from 2003-07 and played basketball for the Stars. He was a starter for three years, playing in 105 games. During his time at Dominican, he was the Midnight Madness slam dunk champion three times and captain of the team during his senior year. Binyamin is married to alumna RoJenia (Judkins) Jones '07, Ph.D., who won the 2017 African/African American Heritage Award. They have two children, Omer and Amber. 



Basketball has been an integral part of Binyamin's life and as a member of Dominican Stars, his love for the game, technical skill and compassion for others increased exponentially. His decision to become a police officer in the city of Chicago was driven by his desire to try to aid in the prevention of the "classroom to prison" pipeline that he witnessed in his own neighborhood. In 2017, his commitment to helping others and his passion for sport collided in what can only be described as a "deliberate orchestration by God". 



Together with Chicago Bulls, Youth Guidance Becoming a Man (BAM) program and the Chicago Police Department, Binyamin has participated in six BAM basketball tournaments. These tournaments, which are hosted by the Chicago Bulls, brings together at-risk Chicago youth and police officers for a game of basketball which is followed by round table discussion about how they can work together to help create a culture of peace in Chicago's neighborhoods. 



He also participated in former Chicago Bear, Israel Idonije's, "Shop with a Cop". During the holiday season, Binyamin spent a day bowling with children who live in temporary housing and/or come from families facing challenging circumstances. At the end of the day, Binyamin hosted three children, who each got a $100 gift card to spend on presents for themselves and their family. 

In June of 2017 while participating in Weekend Warriors, a basketball mentoring program for youths on Chicago's South Side, Elston Harris suffered a massive heart attack during the basketball game. Relying on instruction and instinct, Binyamin started chest compressions immediately. He administered chest compressions continuously for approximately 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived and transported Harris to Advocate Trinity Hospital. There he received heart stent surgery, which removed a 100 percent blockage of a coronary artery. The surgeon has stated, "The only reason he survived is because [Jones] knew CPR and had the presence of mind to keep chest compressions going until paramedics arrived with more sophisticated equipment." For this heroic act, Binyamin has received the "Life Saving Award" from Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police. You can read the story from WGN here .

Most recently, Binyamin together with Elston and Advocate Medical, have launched a program "Loving Life and Basketball". This program's goal is to teach 10,000 basketball players and athletes CPR. They are also pushing to have CPR taught in Chicago Public Schools.

Binyamin is more than deserving of this award and makes Dominican University proud with everything he has done and continues to do for the community.