The Crusader Newspaper Group

Rev. Jackson visits North Park University where students welcomed his lecture on racism in America=

REv Jessie Jackson with students from North Park University

When Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. walked into the North Park University Tuesday, May 10, 2022, he was greeted by scores of mostly white students who stood applauding as he made his way to the microphone.

For the next hour, the students got a lecture on racism in American and advice on how they can help rid the nation from what Rev. Jackson called “mental illness.” Just as they had waited patiently for his arrival, the students were just as anxious to hear Rev. Jackson talk about racism and a myriad of topics including the war in Ukraine.

He emphasized the importance of their being registered to vote, making sure they had voting booths at their school, knowing the names of their elected officials and learning their positions on issues like student loan debts.

As he looked at the audience, comprised of a few African Americans and mostly white students, Rev. Jackson spoke about the importance of diversity and urged them to reach out to other ethnic groups and to get to know one another.

Brooklyn Seals crying next to Rev Jessie JacksonRev. Jackson, who was accompanied Rev. Cameron Barnes, national youth director for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition who helped organize the visit, urged the students to become social justice agents like their fellow student — Brooklyn Seals.  Brooklyn Seals, a junior majoring in sociology and politics and government is the student who organized Rev. Jackson’s visit. In introducing Rev. Jackson, she constantly wiped away her tears. After all of her planning, Seals never thought Rev. Jackson would show up.

But, it was a reciprocal visit because a group of her students had invited by Rev. Barnes to visit the Rainbow PUSH Coalition last march as part of the schools University Ministries annual Sankofa trip.

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

Rev. Jackson urged the 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.

The students provided lunch for Rev. Jackson and his staff catered by the Ooh Wee It Is Black-owned restaurant, 33 E. 83rd St., complete with macaroni and cheese, string beans and potatoes, chicken, sweet potatoes and peach cobbler all favorite foods of Rev. Jackson.

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