The Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III is the successor to the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson as president and CEO of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Jackson announced on July 14 his retirement as head of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the influential civil rights organization he started decades ago to continue the struggle for equality and justice heroically championed by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The promise of America is that we are all created equal in the image of God and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives. While we’ve never fully lived up to that promise, we’ve never fully walked away from it because of extraordinary leaders like Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.,” President Joe Biden said.
The President continued, “Throughout our decades of friendship and partnership, I’ve seen how Reverend Jackson has helped lead our nation forward through tumult and triumph.
“Whether on the campaign trail, on the arch for equality, or in the room advocating for what is right and just, I’ve seen him as history will remember him – a man of God and of the people; determined, strategic, and unafraid of the work to redeem the soul of our nation.”
One of Jackson’s comrades in the civil rights struggle, National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., echoed Biden’s remarks.
“On behalf of the NNPA, representing the Black Press of America, I am so pleased to issue the NNPA’s highest regards and respect to the Honorable Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.,” Chavis said.
Chavis added, “I have known and worked with the Rev. Jackson all of my adult life as a fellow freedom fighter in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, NAACP, Rainbow PUSH, United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, and the National African American Leadership Summit …
“The Black Press resolutely salutes Jesse Jackson’s outstanding national and global leadership, and we pledge to keep fighting for freedom, justice, equality, and equity.”
Jackson, a renowned figure in the fight for civil rights, founded PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) in 1971 and established the National Rainbow Coalition in 1984.
In 1996, the two organizations merged to form the powerful and influential Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Organization officials said Jackson’s successor, Dr. Haynes, a Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. co-chair, exemplifies the same passion and commitment to global racial justice that characterizes Jackson’s legacy.
As a co-founder of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), Inc., Haynes has been a guiding force for more than two decades, upholding the mission and ministry of the organization.
Dr. Iva Carruthers, general secretary, and co-founder of the SDPC, said, “This nation has entered a new era of struggle against racial injustices, hate speech, new forms of institutional oppression against the poor, people of color, and those marginalized due to religion or sexual orientation.”
SDPC Co-Chair Bishop Leah Daughtry highlighted the necessity for collaboration between national and local organizations during what he called critical times.
“Collaboration between national and local organizations is ever more needed at this time,” Daughtry said in a press release.
President Biden said, “Jill and I are grateful to Rev. Jackson for his lifetime of dedicated service and extend our appreciation to the entire Jackson family.
“We look forward to working with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition as he hands the torch to the next generation of leadership, just as we will continue to cherish the counsel and wisdom that we draw from him.”
(This NNPA story is by Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire senior national correspondent.)