Rev. Jesse Jackson at the New York Stock Exchange Credit: Elinor Tatum photo

The Rev. Jesse Jackson kicks off his Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 25th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit on Monday at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The two-day event is in a hybrid format with an in-person program, which took place on Monday, and virtual program on Tuesday.

The Summit brings together entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and some of the nation’s leading policymakers together to increase business and employment opportunities for African Americans, women, and people of color.

“We’ve had 25-years of work, struggle, and success, but our challenge is to continue to close the economic opportunity gap. Our agenda reflects that mission,” says Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Founder & President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. We’re elated that we can meet in person, roll up our sleeves and get more work completed.”

25th Wall Street Project Economic Summit Credit: Cyril Josh Barker photo

The summit is being co-hosted by Citizenship Education Fund. Chairman John A. Graves said the summit’s purpose is still relevant after over two decades.

“It’s been 25 years of hard work for the Wall Street Project, but we know what needs to be done and we will continue the efforts to make a difference,” he said.

This year’s Wall Street Project Economic Summit theme is “The Wall Street Project 25 Years Later: Many Successes, but Our Work to Level the Playing Field Continues.” The summit featured a Labor & Ministers Breakfast, Wall Street Project Business Luncheon, and sessions on broker-dealer diversity, the business of sports and free trade in Africa.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Rev. Jesse Jackson Credit: Gral Peart photo

On Monday morning, the Summit began in-person with the Labor & Ministers Breakfast, hosted by legendary Radio and TV Personality G. Keith Alexander, followed by the session Wall Street Project’s Impact Then and Now: Expansion and Utilization of Diversity Broker-Dealers and Asset Managers.

Mayor Eric Adams was the keynote speaker during the Wall Street Project Business Luncheon, which honored Dr. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System, John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments and BNY Mellon.

Later in the day, Jackson rang the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to celebrate the 25th-anniversary milestone of the Wall Street Project.

The Summit concludes Tuesday with a half day of virtual sessions. The day leads off with the panel African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) moderated by Matilda Arhin, President, Ghana International Chamber of Commerce. 

Panelists, including Olivier Kamanzi, President & CEO, Africa Global Chamber of Commerce, Malose Letsoalo, Minister, Economic – Embassy of South Africa, Niclette Mundabi, Africa Portfolio Manager – Money Gram International, will discuss the impact of COVID-19 while AFCTA is being implemented and how to attract foreign investments.

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