Rolling Out

A conversation with Jason Green in bridging gaps in skills, health and wealth

Exploring economic mobility and inclusivity with Zeal Capital Partners’ Executive in Residence
jason green
Jason Green (Photo credit: Courtesy of Jason Green)

In the fast-evolving landscape of economic mobility and inclusivity, Jason Green stands out as a pivotal figure dedicated to bridging gaps in skills, health, and wealth. In a recent interview with Kevin Hooks for “Equity in Focus,” Green, the Executive in Residence at Zeal Capital Partners and co-founder of SkillSmart, shared his journey, insights, and the impactful work he’s engaged in to foster equitable communities.

From family influences to the White House

Green’s path is deeply rooted in his upbringing, influenced by a Methodist preacher father, a public school teacher mother, and an activist grandmother. Reflecting on his journey, Green recalls the moment he first saw Senator Obama in 2004, which inspired his subsequent involvement in the 2008 campaign and his tenure as Associate White House Counsel to President Obama. This experience, he shares, was deeply connected to his family’s values and his father’s sermons on lifting others and building a better community.

Green’s transition from the White House to founding SkillSmart in 2013 marked a significant shift. SkillSmart focuses on ensuring equitable distribution of real estate investments, enabling local and diverse workers and suppliers to participate in the economic growth of their communities. His work at Zeal Capital Partners further extends this mission by promoting inclusive investing, particularly for historically underrepresented communities.

Building equitable communities through venture capital

At Zeal Capital Partners, Green is part of a team reimagining venture capital with a focus on inclusivity. By investing in regions and founders historically overlooked by traditional venture capital, Zeal aims to catalyze economic mobility. Green emphasizes the importance of investing in areas like the future of work, financial technology, and health equity—sectors critical to marginalized communities.

Green acknowledges the significant barriers to entry in venture capital and underscores the need for examples of successful, inclusive investments to shift industry norms. He cites his company, SkillSmart, as an example of a business that can simultaneously achieve social impact and financial success, demonstrating that these goals are not mutually exclusive.

Empowering the next generation

Addressing the challenges faced by young people of color in emerging technologies, Green encourages them to bring their ideas forward and pursue their passions despite the lack of representation. He shares his own experiences with imposter syndrome and stresses the importance of building skills, networks, and confidence.

Green also highlights the role of mentorship and creating pathways for others. During his time at the White House, he made it a priority to increase diversity within the internship program, ensuring that more people from underrepresented communities had access to these opportunities.

Looking ahead: Community and democracy

As Green looks to the future, he is focused on continuing to build equitable and inclusive communities. He announced the upcoming release of his book, “Too Precious to Lose,” which delves into his experiences with his grandmother and their shared commitment to community service. Green is also concerned about the current state of democracy and plans to engage with various communities to encourage voter participation, particularly among young Black men.

In closing, Green shares a powerful story from his family’s history, illustrating the enduring importance of community action. He urges everyone to be “doers” who actively work to improve their communities, echoing the actions of his ancestors who built a school for Black children in 1868.

To stay connected with Green and follow his work, he encourages reaching out via social media at @Jg1732. As the conversation with Hooks concludes, Green reiterates the importance of focusing on equity in all aspects of life and work, urging listeners to continue striving for a more inclusive and equitable community.

Green’s journey and insights serve as a powerful reminder of the impact that dedicated individuals can have on building a more just and inclusive society. His work with Zeal Capital Partners and SkillSmart, combined with his commitment to community service, exemplifies the transformative potential of inclusive economic mobility initiatives.

AI assisted in summarizing this episode of Equity in Focus.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out