Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Civil Rights Activist

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Civil Rights Activist, Minister, Former Shadow U.S. Senator for the District of Columbia

From  – Illinois
Education – B.S.  Sociology, North Carolina A&T, 1964
Age when he first ran for president? – 47
Years Ran – 1984, 1988
Party Nomination Sought – Democratic
Entered Politics – 1984 – U.S. Presidential candidate

Government/Community Service

1971 – Founder of the organizations that merged to form Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; People United to Save Humanity (Operation PUSH)

1983 – Jackson traveled to Syria, secured the release captured American pilot, Navy Lt. Robert Goodman who was being held by the Syrian government

1984 – Jackson negotiated the release of twenty-two (22) Americans being held in Cuba

1991 –  Shadow U.S. Senator for the District of Columbia

1997 – Traveled to Kenya to meet with Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi as United States President Bill Clinton’s special envoy for democracy to promote free and fair elections.


Declaring that he wanted to create a “Rainbow Coalition” of various minority groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Arab-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, family farmers, the poor and working class, and homosexuals, as well as white progressives who fit into none of those categories, Rev. Jackson ran on a platform that included:

  • – Creating a Works Progress Administration-style program to rebuild America’s infrastructure and provide jobs to all Americans,
  • – Reversing Reaganomics-inspired tax cuts for the richest ten percent of Americans and using the money to finance social welfare programs
  • – Cutting the budget of the Department of Defense by as much as fifteen percent over the course of his administration
  • – Declaring Apartheid-era South Africa to be a rogue nation
  • – Instituting an immediate nuclear freeze and beginning disarmament negotiations with the Soviet Union
  • – Supporting family farmers by reviving many of Roosevelt’s New Deal–era farm programs
  • – Creating a single-payer system of universal health care
  • – Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment
  • – Increasing federal funding for lower-level public education and providing free community college to all
  • – Applying stricter enforcement of the Voting Rights Act
  • – Supporting the formation of a Palestinian state.