FEATURED PHOTO: REVEREND JESSE JACKSON ANNOUNCED THE PASSING OF THE TORCH TO A NEW PRESIDENT JULY 14TH 2023
TheHill.com, By Olafimihan Oshin, Posted July 25th 2023
Rev. Jesse Jackson, a veteran civil rights leader, will step down from his position as president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a civil rights group whose predecessor he founded more than 50 years ago.
The Chicago Tribune and other outlets reported on July 14th that Jackson, 81, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017, is going to hand the reins of the day-to-day operations of the organization to a successor who will be named during the group’s annual convention scheduled to begin this weekend.
The Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition — an organization that combined two groups, Operation PUSH founded in 1971 and the National Rainbow Coalition started in 1984 — has been pivotal for Jackson’s efforts to promote economic, educational and political change within the Black community.
“Reverend Jesse Jackson is officially pivoting from his role as president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. His commitment is unwavering, and he will elevate his life’s work in teaching ministers how to fight for social justice,” a spokesperson told ABC 7 in a statement on Friday.
The Hill has reached out to the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition for comment.
Jackson came into national prominence in the 1960s and 1970s as a civil rights leader. He became the head of the the Chicago chapter of Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that sought to promote employment for Black Americans, the Tribune reported.
Jackson merged Operation Push and the National Rainbow Coalition in 1996, according to the group’s website, with the organization helping give Jackson a platform for his presidential campaigns in the 1980s.
In a statement on Friday, Rev. Al Sharpton expressed his gratitude for Jackson’s work in the civil rights movement over the years.
“The resignation of Rev. Jesse Jackson is the pivoting of one of the most productive, prophetic, and dominant figures in the struggle for social justice in American history,” Sharpton said. “It was my honor, since my mother brought me to him at 12 years old to serve as the youth director for the New York chapter of Operation Breadbasket, down through the last decade, to have been a student and protégé of his.”