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Rev. Jackson Calls for Safe Passage to and from School for Chicago's Children

October 3, 2009

Jonathan Jackson Calls on Black Men to Stand Up as Fathers, Brothers and Mentors

The death of Fenger High School student Derrion Albert and Chicago’s failed 2016 Olympic bid were the topics of discussion during this week’s live international broadcast of the Saturday Morning Forum.

Albert, 16, was brutally beaten to death while walking home from school last month. The incident was video taped seen on national and international news programs days before the International Olympic Committee voted on where to hold the 2016 summer games.

“We came in dropping bombs,” said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “We dropped our A-team; President Barack and First Lady Michelle, Oprah, Mayor Daley, Governor Quinn. But this was a ground war. In today’s world order everyone gets a vote. Chicago wanted the Olympics but Rio needed it.”

Chicago, along with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, were the four cities competing to hold the games. To the surprise of Americans around the nation, Chicago was quickly eliminated from the completion after receiving the least amount of votes in the first round.

“When the whole world is allowed to vote we see different outcomes,” said Rev. Jackson. “This was globalization verses superpower politics.”

Rev. Jackson questioned how the beating death of Albert played into Chicago not receiving the Olympic bid.

“How are we going to have a plan to keep the guests’ children safe--the children from China, Jamaica and Rio safe--when we can’t even keep the host children safe?”

Earlier this year the Sun-Times reported that 508 Chicago Public School children were shot in an 18 month period. During the 2008-2009 school year, 40 Chicago school aged children died due to gun violence.

Albert’s funeral services were also held on Saturday.

“My heart is heavy,” said Jonathan Jackson, national spokesman for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “Derrion’s whole life was taken from him. I heard the young man’s sister say ‘I don’t have a brother anymore’ and I told her I’ll be her brother. Black men, we have to step up and be brothers, fathers and mentors.”

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is also planning for two upcoming conferences. October 9th marks the 10th annual automotive summit in Detroit, Michigan. The following weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, Rainbow PUSH will host the 10th annual Creating Opportunity Conference.

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

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization devoted to protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. To learn more, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366. To arrange an interview with Rev. Jackson, please call the numbers listed above.

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