arrowredR.gif (110 bytes) Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Inc.

arrowredR.gif (110 bytes) Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson:
Interviews; Impressions of a
Life; Speeches; Book Excerpt;

arrowredR.gif (110 bytes)Jesse Jackson at HU, 1970

arrowredR.gif (110 bytes) Howard University:
A Living Symbol




Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr.
President and
Founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition


The Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, President and Founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, is a leading international social and political figure.  His thirty-year history as an activist in nearly every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice in America and abroad places him among the most highly respected leaders of the world.  Because of his efforts on behalf of a more just and humane society, Reverend Jackson has been named “conscience of the nation” and “the great unifier.”

In May 1999, Reverend Jackson negotiated successfully the release of three soldiers of the United States Army, held captive in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.  He also helped to end the conflict over the ethnic Albanian majority’s demands for autonomy for Kosovo.  In 1997, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appointed him as the “Special Envoy of the President and Secretary of State for the Promotion of Democracy in Africa.”  In 1990, Reverend Jackson was the first American to bring hostages out of Kuwait and Iraq.  While serving as a United States diplomat in 1984, he negotiated the release of a captured Navy Lieutenant from Syria, as well as the release of 48 Cuban and Cuban-American prisoners.

He founded the People United to Save Humanity (PUSH) in 1971, and the Rainbow Coalition in 1984.  They were merged in 1996 to create the Rainbow/PUSH coalition, a national social justice organization devoted to political empowerment, education, and an improved public policy.

Reverend Jackson’s political aspirations set a precedent in American politics during two bids for the United States presidency.  In 1988, his national campaign won seven million votes, registered two million new voters, and helped hundreds of candidates win elective offices.  Following his presidential campaign of 1984, he was named the “Third Most Admired Man in America,” and his success helped the Democratic Party regain control of the Senate.

Jackson attended Chicago Theological Seminary as a postgraduate until joining the Civil Rights Movement full-time in 1965 as a student leader in sit-in demonstrations.  He later became an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Since then, he has earned more than 40 Honorary Doctorate degrees from universities across the country including Howard, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Pepperdine, Oral Roberts, and many others.  He attended the University of Illinois on a football scholarship.  In 1964, he transferred to North Carolina A&T University, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.  A native of Greenville, South Carolina, he is married to Jacqueline Lavinia Brown, and has five children: Santita, Jesse Louis, Jr., Jonathan Luther, Yusef DuBois, and Jacqueline Lavinia.


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