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Reverend Jesse Jackson Honored at Cambridge University

February 25, 2010

UK Visit February 25-March 1

The Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., will be elevated to honorary membership of the Cambridge Union Society this week as he delivers a keynote address of the contemporary civil rights movement at the distinguished university March 1. The Asian Voice, one of UK’s most prestigious news publications, will be honoring Rev. Jackson with its “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his decades of activism around the issues of peace, justice and equality and bringing people together across lines of race, culture, class, gender and belief.

Rev. Jackson will also deliver the keynote address at the Race Equality Election Forum hosted by the 1990 Trust and its Roots Research Centre, setting out a Racial Justice Manifesto as a run up to the UK elections. He will also launch the unveiling of a voter registration billboard campaign launched by Operation Black Vote.

Rev. Jackson will appear at a host of other school, community and church based events in London, Brixton and Manchester on his February 25-March 1 in the UK visit.

As a highly respected and trusted world leader, Reverend Jackson has acted many times as an international diplomat in sensitive situations: in 1984 Reverend Jackson secured the release of captured Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman from Syria, and the release of 48 Cuban and Cuban-American prisoners in Cuba. He negotiated to bring citizens held as “human shields” by Saddam Hussein in Kuwait and Iraq in 1990, including Stuart Lockwood from the UK. In 1999 Reverend Jackson negotiated the release of U.S. soldiers held hostage in Kosovo. In August 2000, Rev. Jackson helped negotiate the release of four journalists working on a documentary for Britain’s Channel 4 network held in Liberia.

Rev. Jackson’s ties with the UK date back to 1980’s, when Reverend Jackson joined with Oliver Tambo, Bishop Trevor Huddleston, and others in London’s Trafalgar Square to protest apartheid in South Africa and call to free Nelson Mandela. More recently, he keynoted the Hyde Park rally with over 1 million people protesting the expected invasion of Iraq. In August 2007, Equanomics-UK invited Rev. Jackson to help launch the new organization in a historic nine city UK-wide tour. Rev. Jackson later joined international dignitaries in the unveiling of the statue of Nelson Mandela in London’s Parliament Square. In 2009, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown bestowed the “Global Diversity and Inclusion Award” to Rev. Jackson at 10 Downing Street.

For his work in human and civil rights and for nonviolent social change Reverend Jackson has received more than 40 honorary doctorate degrees, including: Honorary Fellow of Regents Park College at Oxford University; Honorary Fellowship from Edge Hill University in Liverpool, England. This week he will be elevated to honorary membership of the Cambridge Union Society.