FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 17, 2018
Rainbow PUSH Coalition and African American Contractors to Picket Construction Site, Demand Inclusion and Fairness in Hiring
CHICAGO – A forest of construction cranes soar into the skyline around downtown Chicago but few if any African Americans are employed at the dozens of job sites.
To protest and highlight this inequality, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) and the African American Contractor’s Association (AACA) will picket one of the sites
Tuesday, September 18
Noon to 2 PM
14th Street and Wabash Avenue
“We’re picketing the Clark Construction site because it does not reflect the citizens who pay taxes in this community,” said Omar Shareef, founder and president of AACA and RPC’s national director of Labor Outreach. “African American men and women are not presently employed on this site. This shameful lack of diversity, inclusion and fairness must end.”
Shareef said AACA and RPC have been tracking Clark Construction and other companies “for quite some time, monitoring their diversity” and most of the firms have “come up woefully short.”
RPC and AACA will visit every construction site in and around downtown in the coming days and weeks, he said, to record “the makeup of African Americans on these jobs.”
The goal of the campaign, Shareef said, is to sit down with the major contractors and developers and come up with a comprehensive plan to “deal with diversity and inclusion all over the city of Chicago, not just at this one site. There are many of these sites and we have a lot of picket signs.”
Shareef added, “putting people back to work and making sure they get a livable wage just like every other citizen in this city is the best way to curb the crime and violence that infect too many neighborhoods in Chicago.”
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.