The Rainbow PUSH Coalition's PUSH for Excellence initiative will host the 21st annual Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. The event will celebrate and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and explore the question, "What will be done to ensure a high-quality education for all children?"
"We are in the fourth stage of our movement for equal access," said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "The first stage was to end slavery, where all rights were denied. The second stage was to end legal segregation, which forced us into the margins. The third stage was political enfranchisement, which gave us the right to vote. Presently, we are faced with the fourth stage--access to high-quality education."
The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that college dropout rates are higher for African American and Hispanic students than white students. According to the most recent statistics, the nationwide college graduation rate for black students stands at 43 percent. This figure is 20 percentage points below the 63 percent rate for white students.
Celebrating what would have been Dr. King's 83rd birthday, the event will raise scholarship dollars for deserving high school and college students from across the nation.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization devoted to protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. To learn more, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366. To arrange an interview with Rev. Jackson, please call the numbers listed above.