Star Jones in Atlanta to push diversity in workplace


Diversity Career Fair with appearance by Star Jones

2 to 8 p.m., Monday,. Sept. 21


Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia

4355 Ashwood Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta

Star Jones is a long-time friend of Donald Trump and finished fifth on his NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011. But the former host of “The View” is no fan of his presidential campaign or many of his political views.

“I’ve known Donald for 20 years,” said Jones, who is president of the Professional Diversity Network. Jones will be in Atlanta Monday for a job fair and networking event.

“I know all three of his wives. I am very close to his first wife Ivana. I just vacationed with her over the summer. But Donald and I completely part ways politically. I called him at his office back when he started questioning Pres. Obama’s birthplace. I told him he was race baiting.”

Jones supports Hillary Clinton for president.

“I make my choice for political candidates based on how the policies are going to impact me, my family and the people I serve,” said Jones, on issues such as “equal pay for equal work, protecting women’s health care and insuring the rights and freedoms bestowed upon us by the Supreme Court.”

Jones is also appalled by how Republicans are vilifying Planned Parenthood, the first place she received a gynecological exam as a teenager in Trenton, N.J. Many politicians are accusing the organization of selling fetus body parts for profit, something the group denies. While Jones said investigation is warranted, she supports the group “100 percent,” noting that “they’re there to serve women every day.”

She is nearly a decade removed from her nine-year run on ABC’s “The View” and no longer follows the show closely. “The View” is struggling to find a consistent cast and voice while rivals have stolen its thunder.

“If I answer a question from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that implies I watch a daytime talk show, my shareholders would not be happy,” she said, noting that the Chicago-based Professional Diversity Network is a publicly traded for-profit organization. “I just think the show has grown in a different direction. We were a little more serious.”

The Professional Diversity Network, which Jones took over a year ago, provides online networking and job opportunities for minorities. She said people who qualify could fit into one or more of seven categories: women, LGBT, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, disabled and veterans.

“Diversity is something we as a country needs to embrace,” Jones said. “Diversity inclusion only makes us all better. It’s not just the right thing to do but a smart business savvy thing to do.”

The Professional Diversity Network job fair is from 2-6 p.m. Monday at the Crown Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia near Perimeter Mall. A two-hour networking event follows the job fair and is sponsored by its subsidiary, the National Association of Professional Women. Employees offering jobs include Google, Country Financial and State Farm.

Jones plans to be there the entire time hobnobbing with attendees.

The former attorney does not miss the daily TV grind of “The View” but still gets plenty of TV exposure representing her organization. “I did Fox News this morning,” she said Thursday. “I’m scheduled for CNN Saturday. Every time there’s a women’s issue, there’s a diversity issue, the media calls me for comment.”