Friday, August 21, 1998

Rainbow/PUSH Coalition gathers in Hyde Park

Rainbow/PUSH Coalition gathers in Hyde Park
The Chicago Maroon
By Pamela Appea

Religious leaders, civil rights activists, and community residents came together Saturday morning to promote racial unit in Hyde Park as part of the 27th annual Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s four day conference in Chicago. The gathering attracted hundreds of people, and took place on site at the South-Side based organization on East 50th Street.

At the conference, individuals from all over the country discussed civil rights issues in the 1990s. During the week, workshops and speeches focused on decreasing urban violence, poverty and prejudicial attitudes.

The conference theme, “Leave no one Behind” aims to unify members of the black community in addition to promoting the benefits of a truly multicultural and equal society, the Reverend Jesse Jackson explained.

“Our community has been in trouble. And has been said before, it takes a village to raise a child. Well sick villages raise sick children and well villages raise well children. We want well children. We must stop the violence and save the children,” Jackson said.

The conference also addressed the importance of economic independence, especially for minorities and lower-income individuals.

“All black people should have some interest in learning how the markets work,” said Roy Brown, a Bronzeville resident and a in Rainbow/PUSH Coalition member. “Investing in stocks is one of the avenues this country offers in order to become financially independent,” he said.
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., said “Until we can reach back and grab every American who has been left behind, we cannot say we have a better union, we cannot say the economy is experiencing unparalleled growth.” Jackson Jr. explained that everyone should be included in this vision.

Other issues addressed at the conference included political involvement of the black community. U.S. Senator Carol Mosley Braun urged members of the audience to go out to the polls in November with the idea that every citizen can make a difference.

The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition held a blood drive in order to donate blood to the recent injured victims of the terrorist bombing in Kenya and Tanzania.

Other speakers at the Saturday event included Minnesota Senator Paul Wellsteon, Reverend Al Sharpton of New York City, Congressman Bobby Rush and Ambassador Andrew Young.

Originally published August 21, 1998