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December 15, 2011

Rainbow PUSH Celebrates Founders’ Day with Special Guests Rev. Al Sharpton and Gov. Pat Quinn


WHO:Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Rev. Al. Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network;  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn




WHERE:Rainbow PUSH Coalition Headquarters

                930 E. 50th Street Chicago, IL 60615


WHEN:Saturday, December 17, 2011, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


WHY: Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will join the live, international broadcast of Saturday Morning Forum this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.


Rainbow PUSH was born on December 25, 1971 and, reflecting the spirit of Christmas, emerged in the midst of need with a great imperative to serve. PUSH traveled from its Breadbasket roots of the south to the thriving segregated north of Chicago.


It burst forward at a time when Chicago had no independent black elected officials, few black-owned businesses, and growing segregation in housing and employment. There were very few African-Americans working in key management positions in corporate America.  There were no blacks on the boards of directors of the Fortune 500 companies; no African-American had owned or constructed a fast food franchise or major supermarket; and no African-Americans were serving as partners in the major law firms. Black children were attending schools which were segregated and inadequate. Police brutality was rampant and poverty and despair were abundant.


Creating the Coalition

In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. appointed Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. to serve as the first director of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, IL.


In 1971, three years after the tragic assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, TN, Reverend Jackson founded Operation P.U.S.H (People United to Save Humanity, later modified to People United to Serve Humanity) in Chicago and continued the work of Dr. King.


In 1972, the idea of the "Black Expo" (Black Business Exposition) was developed to "expose" African-American businesses.


In 1984, the National Rainbow Coalition was formed in Washington, DC following Reverend Jackson's first presidential campaign. Rainbow's focus was to unite progressive people, historically locked out of the mainstream of American politics, into a "coalition of conscience" dedicated to making America more inclusive.


In 1996, the National Rainbow Coalition and Operation P.U.S.H. were merged to form the Rainbow PUSH Coalition with international headquarters in Chicago.


The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity.  The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit or call (773) 373-3366