Rev. Jesse Jackson to speak at UA Wednesday

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. (Source:
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. (Source:

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. will speak at The University of Alabama Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m., in an event that is free and open to the public.

Jackson will discuss the evolving cultural landscape in the Deep South in a speech titled "New South, New Challenges." The event is sponsored by the Black Student Union, University Programs and the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Jackson is the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a non-profit civil rights advocacy group.

Jackson became a full-time organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was appointed by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to direct the Operation Breadbasket program in 1965.

In December of 1971, he founded Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) in Chicago to help expand educational, business and employment opportunities for disadvantaged people of color.

In 1984, Jackson founded the National Rainbow Coalition, a social justice organization based in Washington, D.C. devoted to political empowerment, education and changing public policy. Operation PUSH merged with the Rainbow Coalition in 1996.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Jackson the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2013, the South African government bestowed upon him its highest civilian honor, the National Order, or "Companions of O.R. Tambo."

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