Rainbow PUSH Coalition looking ahead after Texas-based president resigns after less than 3 months

'I find it to be very difficult to run an organization from another state, one so rooted in Chicago,' Fr. Pfleger said

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Rainbow PUSH looking ahead after president resigns after months on job
The Rev. Frederick Haynes took over the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Chicago civil rights organization, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, in February.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Rainbow PUSH Coalition is looking ahead, after its Dallas-based president and CEO retired after less than three months on the job.

The Rev. Frederick Haynes announced Tuesday that he submitted a letter with his resignation as head of the Chicago-based coalition, effective immediately.

The Dallas pastor had taken over leadership of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's civil rights organization.

"I will continue the fight for justice," Haynes said. "I will continue to be a prophetic witness. I will just do it in another lane."

Haynes, who has been senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas for more than 40 years, stayed in Dallas while leading the coalition.

Jackson announced in July of last year that he would step down from the organization he founded more than 50 years ago, introducing Haynes as his successor.

"It was my honor last year when Rev. Jackson, a personal hero, icon, a leader who has changed the world, tapped me to succeed him," Haynes said.

Haynes was formally installed as president and CEO of Rainbow Push in February, during a ceremony in Dallas.

Jackson transitioned to emeritus status, an organization spokesperson said.

Father Michael Pfleger, who works closely with the civil rights organization, said part of him is not surprised the leadership was short-lived.

"I find it to be very difficult to run an organization from another state, one so rooted in Chicago," Pfleger said.

Jackson's son, attorney Yusuf Jackson, will continue to serve as the organization's chief operating officer.

As for the future, Pfleger said there is untapped talent in Chicago to lead the organization, which is needed now more than ever.

"Voters' rights are being taken away. Racism is alive and well and emboldened," he said.

In a statement, Jesse Jackson said, "We are grateful to Rev. Haynes for his service and leadership."

He said they would remain partners in the fight for peace, civil rights and economic justice.