The Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and
president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one of the foremost civil
rights, religious and political figures of our time. For nearly 50
years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for
peace, civil rights, empowerment, gender equality, and economic and
social justice the world over.
Jackson began his activism as a student
in the 1960s. In 1965, he became a full-time organizer for the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference, and was soon appointed by Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr. to direct the Operation Breadbasket program. Jackson
founded Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) in Chicago in
1971, and the National Rainbow Coalition in Washington, D.C., in 1984.
In 1996, the organizations merged to form the Rainbow PUSH Coalition,
combining efforts in changing public policy and expanding educational,
business and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and people
Jackson campaigned for the U.S.
presidency in 1984 and 1988. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal
of Freedom and the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo, the highest
civilian honor in the United States and South Africa, respectively. In
2010, Jackson was inducted into England’s prestigious Cambridge Union
Jackson will appear in conversation with the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, former director of religion at Chautauqua Institution.
The Rev. Joan Brown Campbell is an
ordained minister with standing in two Christian denominations, the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Baptist Church.
She was the first woman to be associate executive director of the
Greater Cleveland Council of Churches; the first woman to be executive
director of the U.S. office of the World Council of Churches; the first
ordained woman to be general secretary of the National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the USA; and the first woman director of religion
at Chautauqua Institution.
A devoted activist for peace and social
justice, Campbell’s commitment was crafted during her life-changing work
with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and was deepened in the struggle
to end apartheid in South Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu referred to
her as “a woman of courage and compassion.” Campbell's commitment to
growing the global compassion movement is reflected in her work with
Charter for Compassion International, serving as chair of the Global
Campbell’s many honors include the 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award. She is the author of Living Into Hope: A Call to Spiritual Action for Such a Time as This and Prayers From Chautauqua.