Author, Activist, Speaker and Media Personality
Alexis Jones is an internationally recognized speaker, media personality, activist, and author. Originally from Texas, Alexis grew up with four older brothers and moved to Los Angeles where she completed her undergrad and Masters both from USC. Alexis founded the non-profit I AM THAT GIRL (501c3), which currently has 1.2M+ girls involved and chapters in 24+ countries. Alexis hosted a TV show on the Red Carpet, worked on shows at Fox Sports, ESPN, CBS, MTV, and TLC. Alexis also founded the company ProtectHer, the first ever educational program for high school and college male athletes on the importance of respecting women. With a wildly acclaimed TEDx talk, instead of villainizing men, Alexis invites, includes and inspires both men and women to be an integral and tangible part of the solution moving forward. Alexis has been invited to speak at The White House, The United Nations, Harvard, Stanford, ESPN, NIKE, Pepsi, Google, DELL, The NFL and The Girl Scouts. Alexis has spoken to millions of youth across the country. Her book I AM THAT GIRL was published in February 2014 with her newest one, Be a Good Human slated for 2019. Alexis has also teamed up with Leftfield Pictures to produce and star in new, inspiring docu-series that will debut in 2018. She most recently won The Jefferson Award, our country’s highest national honor for public service. She has also been featured as Oprah’s #SuperSoul100, AOL’s MAKERS, was an Ambassador for L’Oreal’s STEM initiative, DELL’s #Inspire100 List, Fast Company’s “Female Trailblazers,” ESPN’s “Pop Culture’s Top Ten,” Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction and highlighted as one of the five most influential women in Texas as a Profiles in Power winner.
Describe a moment that could’ve broken you, but didn’t. How did you get past the struggle?
Four days ago I was snowboarding in Aspen with my husband (Brad). I am months into training for a half ironman (my first at this distance) and had just stated to Brad, “Babe, I feel invincible. I mean it. I haven’t been in this kind of shape in over a decade. It feels awesome. I’m going to crush this triathlon.” Literally the next day, on my third run down the mountain, I had a terrible accident and was medically evacuated. The MRI would reveal that I had blown our my posterior crucial ligament in my right knee. One day I felt like Super Woman and the next day I literally needed help getting out of bed. How how did or how do I get past this? I realized that I cannot control my circumstances, as much as I would like and as much as I try. What I can control is how I react to them. My initial thoughts were heartbreak over my injury, and while I certainly have moments of disappointment and “wish I woulda’s,” they are fleeting. Instead I focus on what I can do. I had physical therapy yesterday, acupuncture today and more physical therapy schedules for tomorrow. I downloaded a “recovery” mediation from Headspace so that every day I’m focused on getting better and creating the right environment in my body for healing. The reality is the only thing that separates our pleasure from our pain and our successes from our failures is time. So when we find ourselves face planted in snow (in my case in particular), all we can do is focus on what lessons are to be learned, what steps we can take forward even if they are wobbly and painful and how we can be gentle with ourselves through the process; because in truth, everyone loves a come back story and maybe this one is mine!
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Break up with my ex the first time he showed me who he really was! haha. Learning to accept people for who they are, not all the potential I see inside them has been a rather painful lesson for me. And learning that true love is grace mixed with hard accountability; I seemed to forget the hard accountability part and I dated a person for about five years longer than I wish I would have. I look back on all the moments I stayed when I was given every reason in the world to leave. While I think that relationship and that person specifically was one of my greatest teachers, I also wish I could go back in time when I was 14, 17, 21 and 24… (we clearly dated for a long time) and I would have hugged that little girl who had no idea how precious and cherished she was and I would have told her that that her worth will never be found inside a boy incapable of loving her because in truth he didn’t love himself very much and we can’t give something we don’t have. I would have told her that she was brilliant and beautiful and I’d also tell her that despite the heart break that would take years to rebound from; that she would also come across a man one day who would absolutely know her worth, who would help her pick up all her broken pieces and ironically be the one loving her back to life.
Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
My mom. Hands down. She’s a F-ing warrior. She got pregnant at sixteen. No one from her family graduated high school much less college. She had five children and put all of them through undergrad, graduate school and law school. Given all the reasons she has to give up on humanity, growing up in poverty, experiencing abuse from a young age, not having access to resources, education, etc… she never gave up, she defied the odds, she authored her own reality. I cannot fathom the gumption required and the internal constitution to say that my past doesn’t dictate my future and to chart a new course without a map, template or GPS. My mom is my best friend and I feel incredibly blessed to have been raised by such a badass woman.
If you could create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. (repeat)
How do you define your purpose & mission in life?
I always say that I’m a billionaire in love. I may not have had a lot of money growing up, but there was never a moment when I didn’t feel unconditional love form my mom, my dad and my siblings. I wish every little girl had that. I feel like it gave me audacious wings to chase down my dreams. I also realize how fortunate I am because a lot of people don’t grow up with that kind of safety net; the belief that you have an entire tribe who love you so much that failure isn’t an option. So I guess my purpose has always been in having a little tinker bell fairy dust in my pocket; I’ve always wanted people to feel like they were so loved they could fly. So storytelling became my vehicle to live out my purpose of loving people back to life and sparking something inside of them they didn’t even know was there!