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Rainbow/PUSH
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Organization
    (1996- )
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson
    Merged in 1996 from his two previous non-profit organizations - Operation PUSH (1971) and the National Rainbow Coalition (1984)
    Headquartered on the South Side of Chicago with branch offices in Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, New Orleans and Silicon Valley, CA
    Among its causes are Election Law Reform, Affirmative Action and Equal Rights, Fair Housing, Voter Registration and Civic Education, Fairness in the Media, Sports, and Criminal Justice System, Gender Equality, Economic Empowerment and Political Empowerment
    Joined forces with anti-war coalitions Win Without War, United for Peace and Justice and After Downing Street
    Operation PUSH was started by Jackson after clashing with Rev. Ralph Abernathy over Operation Breadbasket.
    PUSH stood for 'People United to Save Humanity,' then the 'S' was discreetly changed to 'Serve.'
    The National Rainbow Coalition came about during Jackson's futile presidential bid, shortly after his infamous 'Hymietown' reference.
    Critics point out that charges of racism, real or imagined, is its driving force, along with threats of boycott and disruptive public protests.
    Convicted felon Mel Reynolds was hired as a consultant (2001).
    It has come a long way from its roots as a black 'self-help' organization.
    Its start as a civil rights and social justice group has spread to include not just African-Americans but all racial minorities, women, the unemployed, small farmers, gays and lesbians.
    Rainbow/PUSH took on issues such as war on drugs, Arab/Israeli relations, apartheid, AIDS awareness and the U.S. health care crisis long before it reached national considerations.
    Taking NASCAR to task by calling automotive racing 'the last bastion of white supremacy,' it got them to offer 'mandated sensitivity programs' for its employees.
    Jackson's stance was clear during a 1997 rally, stating 'The dream is not to be color blind nor gender blind, but to be color and gender sensitive, caring and inclusive...we choose vision over blindness.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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