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Memorial Service for Black Star Project Chairperson Phillip Jackson to be held Tuesday, November 20

A Memorial service for Black Star Project Chairperson Phillip Jackson, who died at the age of 68 at the Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, will be held 11 a.m., Tuesday, November 20, at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters, 930 E. 50th St.

Visitation services for Mr. Jackson, who died on November 4, 2018 after battling cancer, will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday, November 16, 2018 at the A.A. Rayner & Sons Funeral Home, 318 E. 71st St.

Phillip Jackson was born on September 22, 1950 in Altgeld Gardens, his family later moved to the Robert Taylor Homes. After attending 11 Chicago public schools, Jackson graduated from Roosevelt University with honors majoring in Philosophy. He also studied education at the National College of Education.

During his lengthy career, Mr. Jackson was vice president and director of Operations at the Kroch’s & Brentano bookstore. He went on to work in the Office of Budget and Management for the City of Chicago quickly ascending to assistant budget director.

In 1995, Mr. Jackson joined the Chicago Public Schools transition team with Paul Vallas where he served as deputy chief of staff, director of Intergovernmental Affairs and chief of staff.

In 1996, Jackson founded The Black Star Project to address the racial academic achievement gap in Chicago and across the nation. His battle cry was “Educate or die.”

In 1999, Mr. Jackson was named CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority where he negotiated a $1.6 billion deal with the federal government to transform public housing in Chicago focusing on improving the quality of life for residents.

In 2000, Mr. Jackson was named Chief of Education by Mayor Richard M. Daley where he implemented the first citywide parent empowerment conference.

After serving as president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago for a year, Mr. Jackson was elected in 2002 to devote himself full time to The Black Star Project where he served until he died.

At the request of the family, the burial will be private.

Mr. Jackson leaves to mourn four sisters, Gloria Smith, Jean Campbell, Rose Myles, Joann Crenshaw and a host of family, friends and supporters.

Phillip Jackson’s legacy lives on through the ongoing work of The Black Star Project. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the project in Mr. Jackson’s honor.

Please send checks to: The Black Star Project, 3509 S. King Drive, Suite 2B, Chicago, IL 60653. You may also contribute online at


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