British Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. with the Global Diversity Award during a 30-minute meeting today at 10 Downing Street. Past recipients include movie star Jackie Chan, Formula One Driver Lewis Hamilton, and Bernie Grant, a former Black MP in Britain.
"In recognition to his services to the world,'' Mr. Brown said as he presented Reverend Jackson the award, a crystal vase. "You have been an inspiration,'' the Prime Minister added. The men were joined by their wives as they posed for photographers in front of a huge fireplace in the Terra Cotta Room, where British Prime Ministers hosts foreign dignitaries "What a pleasure to meet you,'' Mr. Brown said." I first heard you speak in 1984 at the Democratic Convention in San Francisco. 'Keep hope alive.' Wonderful.''
Mr. Brown said hope is what the world needs more than ever as the worse global economic crisis in decades continues to grown. Early next month Mr. Brown will host a crucial summit of G-20 nations, trying to shape the world's response and strategy to the crisis that has put tens of millions of people out of work and millions more fearing that they will soon join them.
Reverend Jackson emphasized to Mr. Brown the moral, political and economic necessity that any stimulus package assists the poor and the middle class, not just Wall Street. He said, "Prime Minister Brown brings to bear a global vision compatible with US President Obama. They recognize that the global economic crisis requires a coordinated global stimulus. His concern about 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."
Reverend Jackson is in the UK at the invitation of the Right Honorable Keith Vaz, a 22-year Member of Parliament. Reverend Jackson is scheduled to address a special session of Home Affairs Select Committee, which Mr. Vaz chairs. The Reverend is also scheduled to meet with trade unionists, corporate leaders, and youth during his four-day visit.
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