The Rev. Jesse Jackson wrapped the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund’s 21st annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit. The two-day summit was held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel Feb. 9-10 with the theme, “50 Years After the Assassination of Dr. King: The Struggle Continues for Freedom, Equity and Inclusion in Corporate America.” The focus was on the need for diversity in the corporate world.
“We were commodities on the Stock Exchange. We are America’s original source of wealth,” said Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and organizer of the Wall Street Project. “We choose to come together each year and learn the science of capital. We came by way of the struggle to get our share of capital.”
More than 1,000 people attended the event, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who spoke at a luncheon Friday. De Blasio announced that three banks have committed $40 million toward city programs that help minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and small businesses.
The summit concluded with the annual Scholarship Gala, which was hosted by actor and comedian Orlando Jones and included distinguished honorees and musical entertainment by Audrey DuBois Harris and Avery Sunshine. Honorees included FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Mayor of Flint, Mich. Karen Weaver and Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, civil rights attorney.