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Rev. Jesse Jackson calls for global action to fix the world's economy

March 28, 2009

Leaders and citizens from around the world must join together to fix the world's economy, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said today during the Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum broadcast.

"The global economic crisis requires a coordinated global stimulus," said Rev. Jackson, who joined the live international broadcast via telephone from the Netherlands. "Rising unemployment, families losing their homes, poverty and climate change are the right themes for this hour. I would hope the world community unites behind these themes."

During his four-day tour around the UK, Rev. Jackson was presented with the Global Diversity Award by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Rev. Jackson also reunited with Stuart Lock, the then 5-year-old British hostage made to pose alongside Saddam Hussein in the run up to the first Gulf War. During that 1990 conflict, Rev. Jackson helped to secure the release of Lock, now 24.

Later during the broadcast, Jonathan Jackson, national spokesman for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, dedicated his remarks to the life and legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin, historian and Duke University professor.

"He was not just an educator. He was also an activist," said Jackson. "He was not a great black or African-American historian, but a pre-eminent American historian."

Continuing on his crusade for social justice, Jackson introduced Ezra McCann, retired captain for the Chicago Fire Department, to discuss minority discrimination in recruitment, testing, hiring, promotion and retention.

"I not only fought fires; I fought racism," said McCann. "We are looking for the Justice Department to intervene."

Earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune reported that 75 white firefighters will share a $6 million settlement reached with the city of Chicago in a reverse discrimination lawsuit filed over a 1986 lieutenants' exam. Concerned that the exam discriminated against black firefighters, the city "race normed" the test's results. A jury later found the test was fair, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court upheld on appeal.

During next week's broadcast, three busloads of Chicago and Chicagoland high school students will be leaving from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters and heading to various historically black colleges and universities around the country.

"Parents, send your children on these tours to get some exposure," said Jackson. "When they see better they'll do better, when they do better they'll act better."

Saturday Morning Forum airs at 10 a.m. CST on the Word Network, CAN-TV and WJYS.

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