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The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Keynotes International Peace Mission in Malaysia and Thailand

April 15, 2009

Hosted by the International Peace Foundation, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. will keynote its “Bridges: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace” program in Malaysia and Thailand April 19-24, 2009. A return visit to Thailand from his address in 2003, Reverend Jackson will address numerous dignitaries and grass roots organizations on the theme, “Building a Culture of Peace and Development in a Globalized World.”

“This international peace conference comes at an inauspicious moment in time. U.S. foreign policy and international relations must transform from its previous “no-talk, no-negotiation” policies that relied on pre-emptive strikes and military force, to one that seeks international cooperation peaceful, non-violent dialogue and solutions to the many conflicts in the world today. Iraq and Afghanistan, the Middle East crisis, Thailand and Korea, Iran and Pakistan - - - tensions exist all over the world. And we cannot forget Cuba, Haiti or Zimbabwe, and the poverty and disease so pervasive in Africa.”

During this peace mission, Reverend Jackson is scheduled to meet dignitaries, world leaders, scholars and international peace and public policy advocates.

Malaysia Highlights

  • Dialogue with H.E. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak
  • Dialogue with H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Keynote speech and dialogue hosted by Multimedia University (MMU), The Grand Hall
  • Keynote speech and dialogue at the International Islamic University (IIU), Cultural Activity Centre, Gombak Campus
  • Keynote speech and dialogue at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Keynote speech hosted by Sime Darby at Sime Darby Convention Centre

Thailand Highlights

  • Meeting with Government leaders
  • Keynote speech and dialogue at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand
  • Dialogue with high school students at the New International School of Thailand
  • Keynote speech and dialogue at King Prajadhipok’s Institute
  • Excerpt from Reverend Jackson’s Prepared Remarks

Dr. King often spoke of the “moral center”—the idea that change could come in moments of crisis if we acted with due respect for the moral center. We live in a time of crisis. The question for us is—where is the moral center of our crisis? The question for us is—what would Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi do in this time of crisis? We know what they would do—they would stand on the side of the poor, the disenfranchised, the despised, the disinherited. We know what they would do—they would speak truth to power, demand that we beat our swords into plowshares, and ask us to study war no more.

We know what they would do—they would demand that the riches and resources of the world be shared with all the people of the world. They would fight for the principle that those who had the global financial party of the last decade be the ones to pay the costs to clean up the mess. They would struggle to prevent the imminent damages of global climate change from being visited on those who did least to cause it, places like Africa, Asia, the world’s island nations.

Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi taught us to keep our eyes on the prize, focus on the moral center, and fight fiercely and nonviolently for what is right rather than what is expedient—then we can truly change the world.

At certain pregnant times, history pauses at the crossroads. We live in one of those change moments. And Dr. King’s proverb still prevails: “The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366 -30-