FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Rev. Al Sharpton to Kick Off Rainbow PUSH Coalition Anniversary Month Celebration
CHICAGO -- Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights legend and host of MSNBC’s “Politics Nation,” will kick off a month-long celebration of the founding of PUSH and the justice journey of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., from Operation Breadbasket to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and beyond
Saturday, December 2, 2017
10 AM to 11:30 AM
Rainbow PUSH Coalition National Headquarters
930 E. 50th Street
“I was a member of Operation Breadbasket in New York at age 12 and appointed Youth Director by Rev. Jackson and Rev. William Augustus Jones, the Brooklyn chapter leader,” Rev. Sharpton said. “I’ve been in the movement ever since.”
Joining the celebration on December 2 will be musical guest artist Rev. Ray Berryhill and the choir from his church, Resurrected Life, one of the most diverse in Chicago. Rev. Berryhill, along with Rainbow PUSH, played a significant role in collecting and shipping 158,000 pounds of relief supplies to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
The ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico – much of the island remains without power and in the dark – will be discussed during the program as well as the horror of modern day slavery in Libya and the crucial U.S. Senate race in Alabama.
“Many of us are walking living examples of Rev. Jackson’s ministry and tutelage and at this hour of his medical challenges,” Rev. Sharpton said, referring to Rev. Jackson’s recent announcement that he is battling Parkinson’s disease, “we must be there to raise his arms as he has raised several generations of arms to continue the struggle that Dr. King assigned him to do.”
In 1966, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appointed Rev. Jackson to head Operation Breadbasket, the economic development arm of the civil rights movement. Through negotiations and boycotts, Breadbasket brought hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in new wages to struggling and largely African American neighborhoods on South and West sides of Chicago and to other cities around the country.
Five years later, on Christmas Day, 1971, Rev. Jackson officially founded Operation PUSH, now the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Operation PUSH continued the economic development work of Operation Breadbasket and expanded into political action. Over the years, Rev. Jackson has registered hundreds of thousands of new voters.
Each Saturday in the month of December will be devoted to a separate aspect of the work of Rev. Jackson and Rainbow PUSH.
December 9 is Reunion Day, bringing together veterans of Operation Breadbasket, Operation PUSH and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III; pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas. The musical guest will be international opera singer Audrey DuBois-Harris.
December 16 will feature a labor, community organizers, community leaders, educators and elected officials breakfast hosted by Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Special guests include Bishop Jerry Jones and legendary gospel group The Williams Brothers.
December 23 is Founders Day, featuring a clergy breakfast hosted by Rev. Rodney Patterson, senior pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, senior pastor of Trinity UCC.
The month-long celebration will end December 30 with a Millennial Summit, a chance to hear from the next generation of freedom fighters.
“In this era of Trump,” Rev. Sharpton said, “it is more critical than ever to focus on the path toward empowerment and equal rights that we learned at the feet of Jesse Louis Jackson.”
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
Get Informed & Be Social with PUSH!
Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.