Rainbow PUSH Coalition partners with Abundant Living Christian Center to gather pallets of water for Jackson, Mississippi residents

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Friday, September 8, 2022

Rainbow PUSH Coalition partners with Abundant Living Christian Center to gather pallets of water for Jackson, Mississippi residents

Chicago, IL – In an effort to help deliver more bottled water to 150,000 Jackson, Mississippi residents, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition is holding an 11 a.m. press conference Friday, September 9th, at the Abundant Living Christian Center, 14540 Lincoln Avenue, Dolton, Illinois.

Jackson, Mississippi residents’ July 29th boil water notice has been extended even though the water is sporadically back on, according to Rev. Hosea Hines, pastor of the Christ Tabernacle Church and national leader of the A New Day Coalition for Equity for Black America (ANCEBA).

Pastor Hines reached out to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and Bishop Tavis Grant, national executive director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, requesting their help in getting more water for Jackson residents. They have lived with no water until last Monday. While the water is back on sporadically for most residents, some are still without running water. “This situation makes us feel like we’re a Third World country,” Pastor Hines said.

In response to Pastor Hines’ request for assistance, Rev. Jackson and Bishop Grant launched a “Mississippi Water Day” initiative inviting urban and suburban clergy to help donate pallets of water for the Jackson, Mississippi residents.

“This is not just a water problem,” said Rev. Janette Wilson, national executive director for PUSH Excel. She and Bishop Grant pointed to the aging Jackson water pipes reportedly installed in the 1920’s as part of the problem coupled with the neglect in repairing the water system’s infrastructure.

They are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to erect a barrier between the sewer and water plant to protect residents from getting more contaminated water. After an historic flood, the contaminated water leaked sewage into the Pearl River crippling a key pump at the O.B. Curtis water treatment plant which affected residents and businesses.

“Mississippi is in a critical, crucible climate change and infrastructure devastation,” said Bishop Grant. “We believe that the governor and the federal government must work hand in hand in bringing much needed resources, redevelopment and recapitalization in Jackson, Mississippi.”

Rev. Jackson, Bishop Grant and Rev. Wilson say what is happening in Jackson, Mississippi is not unique. Other small towns are also suffering from unsafe water also because of similar infrastructure problems.

Rainbow PUSH Coalition officials are also calling on the SBA to provide grants to small Jackson businesses affected by the water crisis. They are asking FEMA and the EPA to pay residents affected by the water crises.

If these agencies along with Mississippi state officials work together, Bishop Grant said, “We can create a template that we can resolve the issue of clean water and the quality of life all over this country.”

Besides reaching out to area clergy, Rev. Wilson has launched a nationwide challenge among the black fraternities and sororities to see which group can collect the most water. She said for now the Omega’s are ahead.

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.

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Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.