Rev. Jesse Jackson to Resign from Leadership of Civil Rights Organization He Established in 1971

by Joshua Brown
Jesse Jackson Resignation

On Saturday, Rev. Jesse Jackson made a public announcement about his decision to step down from his position as president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a civil rights organization that he established in Chicago more than half a century ago.

The now 81-year-old Jackson, delivered his resignation news during a subtle farewell address at the annual convention of the organization. This occasion was made even more poignant by tributes paid to him through songs, heartfelt speeches from fellow Black activists and politicians, and a video highlight reel from his presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988.

Using a wheelchair due to health complications in recent years, Jackson concluded the event with subdued remarks. Accompanied by his daughter, Santita Jackson, and his son, U.S. Representative Jonathan Jackson, his voice was softer than usual, making it a challenge to hear him.

“Green or yellow, brown, Black, or white, we’re all perfect in God’s eyes. Everyone is somebody. Halt the violence. Protect the children. Maintain hope,” he stated.

Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes, who has been a long-standing disciple of Rev. Jackson and a supporter of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is set to assume leadership of the organization, as per the coalition’s statement. Haynes is currently the head pastor at the Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, based on the church’s website.

Jesse Jackson has been facing the challenges of Parkinson’s disease for nearly a decade. His health took a turn for the worse in 2021, beginning with gallbladder surgery, followed by a bout of COVID-19 that necessitated physical therapy and a fall at Howard University resulting in a head injury.

Jackson has left an indelible mark as a formidable advocate for civil rights and a prominent figure in American politics for several decades.

Once a protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson split from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1971 to start Operation PUSH, originally named People United to Save Humanity, on the South Side of Chicago. This organization later evolved into the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which spearheads initiatives from advancing minority employment in corporate settings to voter registration drives in communities of color.

Jackson has played a crucial role in propelling the modern civil rights movement, actively advocating for voting rights and education. He has also been part of memorial services for George Floyd and COVID-19 vaccination drives aimed at overcoming vaccine hesitancy in the Black community.

Prior to Barack Obama’s presidential election in 2008, Jackson was the most successful Black presidential candidate, securing victories in 13 primaries and caucuses during his campaign for the 1988 Democratic nomination, which ultimately went to Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts.

Jackson reiterated his commitment to ongoing social justice causes during his speech, expressing his intention to continue advocating for three survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre after their lawsuit seeking reparations was dismissed this week.

“I’m stepping down, not stepping away,” said Jackson.

Ron Daniels of the National African-American Reparations Commission, an organization advocating for financial compensation for Black individuals as reparation for slavery, acknowledged Jackson’s unique abilities, describing him as a fusion of Martin Luther King Jr. and 1960s civil rights leader Malcolm X.

Marcia Fudge, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, expressed gratitude to Jackson for paving the way for Black politicians like her. Meanwhile, Santita Jackson urged attendees to uphold her father’s legacy of fighting for equality.

The report was brought to you from Madison, Wisconsin by Richmond, with contributions from Big Big News reporter Gary Fields in Washington.

More AP coverage about Rev. Jesse Jackson can be found at: https://bigbignews.net/jesse-jackson

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jesse Jackson Resignation

Who is stepping down as the president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition?

Rev. Jesse Jackson is stepping down as president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, an organization he founded more than 50 years ago.

Why is Rev. Jesse Jackson stepping down from his position?

Rev. Jesse Jackson is stepping down due to health complications, including a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Despite this, he has expressed his continued commitment to social justice issues.

Who will take over as the leader of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition after Rev. Jesse Jackson steps down?

Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes, a long-standing supporter of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and a student of Rev. Jackson, will take over as the group’s leader.

What health issues has Rev. Jesse Jackson been dealing with?

Rev. Jesse Jackson has been battling Parkinson’s disease for the last eight years. In 2021, he also underwent gallbladder surgery, contracted COVID-19, and sustained a head injury from a fall.

What are some notable achievements of Rev. Jesse Jackson?

Rev. Jesse Jackson has been a prominent figure in American politics and a powerful advocate for civil rights. He was a successful Black presidential candidate before Barack Obama, winning 13 primaries and caucuses during his 1988 campaign for the Democratic nomination. He also founded Operation PUSH, initially named People United to Save Humanity, which later became the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

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HistoryBuff77 July 16, 2023 - 9:19 am

Jackson’s contributions are massive. Never forget his work in the civil rights movemnt.

MikeJ73 July 16, 2023 - 12:26 pm

So sad to hear bout Rev. Jackson’s health probs. He’s been a real champ for civil rights, praying for him!

CarolynB July 16, 2023 - 2:51 pm

Really hope that Rev. Haynes can carry on Jackson’s work. Big shoes to fill!

Heather_1964 July 16, 2023 - 4:34 pm

so many memories of Jackson’s speeches. His words still ring true, especially now… we need to keep hope alive!

Davis_G July 16, 2023 - 5:22 pm

Jackson’s always been a hero of mine. dude fought for us, need more like him.


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