44 ECONOMIC LEVERAGE Reverend Jesse Jackson Affirmati Acti engage | uk ISSUE FIVE 2007 Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, President and Founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is one of America’s foremost political figures. He has played a pivotal role in almost every movement of empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice over the last thirty years, and has been referred to as the “conscience of the nation” and “the great unifier”, challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and human priorities for the benefit of all. Jackson, the very first US Black presidential candidate is also well-known for working alongside the renowned civil rights leader Martin Luther King. ngage’s editor Gloria Wyse caught up with Reverend Jackson during his recent whirlwind tour of the UK to launch the Equanomics campaign. Equanomics UK, an initiative of the 1990 Trust, is a growing coalition of organisations across the UK who want to develop more economic analyses and approaches to equality in Britain. Equanomics aims to address issues of poverty that exist and will focus its efforts on issues such as wage inequalities, international trade policies, the impact of credit, loans and debt, and the impact of poverty on social conditions such as education, employment, health and housing. With inequalities in mind, engage was eager to hear Reverend Jackson’s views on the issues and challenges facing black, Asian and minority ethnic businesses, particularly in light of the forthcoming 2012 Games and its promises for real business growth. Drawing on his own experience of the Atlanta Games. Jesse told us “Firstly, regarding the Olympics, you need to fight for Olympic education in your schools and that E includes every featured event, so that kids can keep an interest that is more than just observing and hosting it. Secondly, you don’t have affirmative action in the UK, so the government should be advocating magazine’s such as yourselves that promote equal opportunity and contract employers - the government should be telling its story through your medium. The third thing is that equanomics UK is going to have a renewed focus on the private sector, just as we (Rainbow/PUSH) did in the USA with the ‘Wall Street project’. Eighty five per cent of all jobs were in the private sector, so we bought shares in 25 corporations and demanded representation with the directors to use, for example, minority-owned media to advertise for the use of our lawyers and barristers and use of our products and services in the supply line. That is the key to using the mobile dollar and your vote to growth.