The significance of the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.’s birthday celebration this year has to do with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s ongoing work toward economic justice, he said. To that end, Jackson and members of the organization for almost the past two years, have been involved in the technical sector making sure that mainly African Americans are represented on the boards and in the employee pools of the tech companies whose products they so heavily consume.
Jackson and Rainbow PUSH are inviting the public to join him in celebrating his 74th birthday on Saturday October 10 with breakfast and a live broadcast from PUSH headquarters in Chicago.
As 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of 1965’s Voting Rights Act, this year’s celebration theme is “The Dream Lives On”.
“We have been working toward economic justice and a lot of things are happening in that regard,” Jackson told the Sentinel this week.
For instance, last week on October 1, in response to Jackson’s March appeal to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ramp up his company’s efforts towards diversity, Apple appointed James Bell the first African American to its board of directors.
“Since the organization begun advocating for tech diversity 18 months ago, the tide is turning,” said PUSH officials
Apple has included minority-owned firms in its two debt offerings conducted this year, they said. Microsoft had four minority firms in its February $11 Billion debt offering, Qualcomm included three minority firms in their $10M debt offering in May, Intel followed suit by involving minority firms in its $7Billion offering in July. It also included minority owned investment banks in its recent IPO.
Also, the Coalition is urging students and young adults of color to join their latest financial literacy campaign, #PUSHMONEYMATTERS. According to organizers, “Money Matters Financial Seminars provide African American consumers with the essentials of paying for college, personal finance and long-term money management…”
During the breakfast starting at 8:00 am, Jackson and Rainbow PUSH will also be kicking off a membership drive with the intent on bringing in 4000 new members by New Year’s Eve. Honor will be given to long time activist and former football player Jim Brown among others and classic R&B crooner Jeffrey Osborne will be performing.