Carolyn Jones is a photographic ethnographer who uses passionate and personal storytelling to examine issues of global and national concern. From people “living positively” with AIDS to women artisans supporting entire communities and nurses on the front lines of our healthcare system, Jones has devoted her career to telling stories that celebrate invisible populations and break down barriers. Raised in Pennsylvania and a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School, Jones started her career as a fashion photographer, then took a detour to become the first American woman to compete as a racecar driver in the Paris Dakar Rally.
Her first book, Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS, was accompanied by shows in Tokyo, Berlin, and at the United Nations World AIDS Conference. In 2003 she founded the non-profit 100 People Foundation which creates educational films and curricula for participating students in over 90 countries worldwide.
In 2012 she published the critically-acclaimed book The American Nurse, which was featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. She directed and executive produced the follow-up documentary film The American Nurse: Healing America, which was released in theaters nationwide and was an official selection of the 2015 American Film Showcase, a cultural diplomacy program of the US Department of State. Her second film, Defining Hope, represents the culmination of a journey investigating how we can make better end-of-life choices. It was awarded Best Premiere – Documentary Feature at the Heartland International Film Festival and aired over 1,000 times on PBS stations nationwide. Her most recent film, In Case of Emergency, paints a startling picture of our ERs stretched to the breaking point. The film has won multiple festival awards, including the Audience Award for Best Film at the Boston Globe’s GlobeDocs festival, and it has been selected for inclusion in the 2020/2021 American Film Showcase.
As a lecturer, Jones has spoken at conferences, universities and events around the globe. She was a featured speaker at the 2016 TEDMED Conference, her TED talk having been viewed by 1.5 million people, and at the 2017 ANCC National Magnet Conference, the largest nursing conference in the world. In 2012 she was honored as one of 50 “Everyday Heroes” in the book of that title for her work with the 100 People Foundation.