Rainbow PUSH Coalition set to sue Kenosha for discrimination in hiring, contracts
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Chicago, IL – Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Justin Blake, the uncle of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer, and Rainbow PUSH Coalition field director Bishop Tavis Grant, Tuesday announced that PUSH intends to file a civil rights lawsuit against Kenosha to demand fairness in hiring and contract letting.

They, along with Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor, are upset that out of 153 firefighters, only 2 are black and of the 216 policemen, 9 are African American. Blacks in Kenosha receive less than 1 percent of the city’s contracts.

“That is unacceptable,” Rev. Jackson told a bevy of reporters during the daylong community service program held in Kenosha to honor Jacob Blake who remains hospitalized paralyzed from the waist down at a nearby hospital.  Rev. Jackson is calling for equity and fairness.

Bishop Grant said the lawsuit “will deal with the inequities here in Kenosha County as well as Milwaukee County. Rev. Jackson has given his full support to the Blake family and to the citizens of Kenosha to address these disparities in health, unemployment and education. We have to bridge these gaps now. This is more than police reform It’s justice for everybody,” said Grant.

Thanking Rev. Jackson for his support, Blake said, “There is a systemic inequity running across every black community in Chicago and every community around this nation. We’re trying to correct that as well.

“This isn’t just about little Jake. We’re working for the little Jake’s all across this county so their parents every time they walk out the door aren’t concern that saying a prayer that they might not make it back that some police officer might shoot them seven times in the back… This is about all the little Jakes that look like us,” said Blake.

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Media Contacts:
Frank Watkins
fwatkins@rainbowpush.org
Chinta Strausberg
cstrausberg@rainbowpush.org
Alanna Ford
aford@rainbowpush.org

 

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.