Reverend Jackson visits North Park University where students hosted his lecture on racism in America =” The Chicago Crusader

When the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. entered North Park University on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, he was greeted by dozens of mostly white students who cheered as he walked to the microphone .

For the next hour, the students were given a lecture on racism in American and advice on how they can help rid the nation of what Reverend Jackson called “mental illness.” Just as they had patiently awaited his arrival, the students were equally eager to hear Reverend Jackson speak about racism and a myriad of topics, including the war in Ukraine.

He stressed the importance of registering to vote, making sure they had voting booths at their school, knowing the names of their elected officials and knowing their positions on issues like student loan debt.

As he watched the audience, made up of a few African Americans and mostly white students, Reverend Jackson spoke about the importance of diversity and urged them to reach out to other ethnic groups and learn to get to know each other.

Reverend Jackson, who was accompanied by Reverend Cameron Barnes, National Youth Director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition who helped organize the visit, urged the students to become agents of social justice like their fellow student – Brooklyn Seals. Brooklyn Seals, a junior majoring in sociology, politics, and government, is the student who arranged for Reverend Jackson’s visit. In introducing Reverend Jackson, she constantly wiped away her tears. After all of his planning, Seals never thought Reverend Jackson would show up.

But it was a reciprocal visit as a group of his students had been invited by Reverend Barnes to visit the Rainbow PUSH Coalition last March as part of the annual Sankofa University Ministries trip.

“This interactive experience explores historical sites of significance in the civil rights movement, places of oppression and inequality for people of color while seeking to engage participants in healing the wounds and racial divide caused by hundreds of years of racial injustice in the United States of America,” she told the students.

Reverend Jackson urged students to join the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and become followers of Dr. King, his mentor and the man whose social justice agenda he continues to follow.

Students provided lunch for Rev. Jackson and his staff, served by Ooh Wee It Is Black Restaurant, 33 E. 83rd St., with macaroni and cheese, green beans and potatoes, chicken, sweet potatoes, and peach cobbler, all of Reverend Jackson’s favorite foods.

Angela C. Hale