Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast

January 16, 2012 4:51:52 AM PST
RainbowPUSH Coalition head Rev. Jesse Jackson visited ABC7 Chicago to talk about an event honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Jackson arrived at the State Street Studio after spending Sunday night at the Pacific Garden Mission to highlight the increasing number of Americans living in poverty, in honor of the King holiday. Jackson spent his time praying and talking with shelter residents.

The Pacific Garden Mission has served the community since 1877 catering to 1,100 men, women and children, as well as serving 1,800 meals a day.

Monday morning, Rev. Jackson was scheduled to attend the 22nd Annual PUSH for Excellence Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast in downtown Chicago:

Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers
301 E. North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:00 a.m.


During the 22nd Annual PUSH for Excellence Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast, the program participants will highlight the fact that gaps of opportunity, wealth and education that the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s sought to equalize are the same concerns of today's Occupy Movement. The event will take place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. and will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King's dream of a one big tent America where all are included and none are left behind is incomplete. Yet, the quest is irreversible. Dr. King marched, took the risks to transform our culture, and created the America we now celebrate.

"When the Civil Rights movement was building, Dr. King was reviled as an outside agitator and slandered as a communist", said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. "Dr King challenged legal segregation in America and the institutional structures resulting in racial inequality and poverty. Entrenched privilege does not surrender its privilege easily. The Occupy Movement is a spirit and in many ways is addressing the same ills Dr. King sought to combat. Occupy is taking on the most powerful interests. But nothing, as Victor Hugo wrote, is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. As Dr. King urged, 'Don't sleep through the revolution.' It is time to take a stand."

In 1967, one in seven Americans lived in poverty. Today, approximately 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty. Over 14 million people are unemployed and 8.8 million people underemployed. About 17 million children go hungry. Nearly 50 million have no health insurance. These statistics are a moral disgrace.

Celebrating what would have been Dr. King's 84th birthday, the event will raise scholarship dollars for deserving high school and college students from across the nation.

Dr. King would be working to rebuild America and put America back to work, to lift those at the bottom. He would work tirelessly to see his dream of equality, high quality education, health care and full employment, and an end to unnecessary wars, become reality. That's the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement that we honor today.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will give the keynote address. Confirmed guests include Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Congressman Danny Davis and Congressman Bobby Rush.

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.