Public Discussion with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Dr. Cornel West: “Politics, Black Lives Matter and the 2016 Election”
Moderated by Keith Boykin
Miller Theater-Columbia University
2960 Broadway (116th St) - New York, NY 10027
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, NO RSVP REQUIRED
Seating will be on a first come first served basis.
Event will be closed at legal capacity.
ALL MEDIA REQUESTS & PERMISSIONS MUST EMAIL IRAAS@COLUMBIA.EDU
Rev. Jesse Jackson Bio
The Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures. Over the past forty years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice. On August 9, 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Reverend Jackson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Reverend Jackson has been called the "Conscience of the Nation" and "the Great Unifier," challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and humane priorities for the benefit of all. He is known for bringing people together on common ground across lines of race, culture, class, gender and belief.
In 1984, Reverend Jackson founded the National Rainbow Coalition, a social justice organization based in Washington, D.C devoted to political empowerment, education and changing public policy. In September of 1996, the Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH merged to form the Rainbow PUSH Coalition to continue the work of both organizations and to maximize resources. Long before national health care, a war on drugs, direct peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, ending apartheid in South Africa and advancing democracy in Haiti became accepted public policy positions, Reverend Jesse Jackson advocated them. Reverend Jackson’s advocacy on these and other issues helped bring the American public to a new level of consciousness. Reverend Jackson’s two presidential campaigns broke new ground in U.S. politics. His 1984 campaign registered over one million new voters, won 3.5 million votes, and helped the Democratic Party regain control of the Senate in 1986. His 1988 campaign registered over two million new voters, won seven million votes, and helped boost hundreds of state and local elected officials into office. Additionally, he won historic victories, coming in first or second in 46 out of 54 primary contests. His clear progressive agenda and his ability to build an unprecedented coalition inspired millions to join the political process.
In 1991, Reverend Jesse Jackson was elected Senator of Washington, D.C., advocating for statehood for the nation’s capital and advancing the “rainbow” agenda at the national and international levels. Since then, he has continued to promote voter registration and lead get-out-the-vote campaigns, believing that everyone should be encouraged to be a responsible, informed and active voter. He has spearheaded major organizing tours through Appalachia, Mississippi, California and Georgia. He has continued to be a leading advocate for a variety of public policy issues, including universal health care, equal administration of justice in all communities, sufficient funding for enforcement of civil rights laws, and for increased attention to business investment in under-served domestic communities (a theme that the Clinton A renowned orator and activist, Reverend Jackson has received numerous honors for his work in human and civil rights and nonviolent social change.
In 1991, the U.S. Post Office put his likeness on a pictorial postal cancellation, only the second living person to receive such an honor. He has been on the Gallup List of the Ten Most Respected Americans for more than a dozen years. He has received the prestigious NAACP Spingarn Award in addition to honors from hundreds of grassroots, civic and community organizations from coast to coast. From 1992 to 2000, Reverend Jackson hosted "Both Sides With Jesse Jackson" on CNN (Cable News Network). He continues to write a weekly column of analysis which is syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times. He is the author of two books: Keep Hope Alive (South End Press, 1989), and Straight From the Heart (Fortress Press, 1987). In 1996, Reverend Jackson co-authored the books Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice, and the Death Penalty (Marlowe & Company, 1996) and It’s About The Money (Random House, 1999) with his son, U.S. Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr
Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written over 20 books and has edited 13. Though he is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, his most recent releases, Black Prophetic Fire and Radical King, were received with critical acclaim.
Dr. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand.
Last but certainly not least, he has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert. His spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard’s Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009), The Cornel West Theory’s Second Rome, Raheem DeVaughn’s Grammy-nominated Love & War: Masterpeace, and most recently on Bootsy Collins’ The Funk Capital of the World. In short, Cornel West has a passion to invite a variety of people from all walks of life into his world of ideas in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.
Moderated by: Keith Boykin
Keith Boykin is a New York Times best-selling author, TV commentator and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science & African-American Studies at Columbia University. Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Keith attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton.
He is a veteran of six political campaigns, including two presidential campaigns, and he was named one of the top instructors when he taught political science at American University in Washington. He starred on the 2004 Showtime television series American Candidate, later becoming a co-host of the BET J TV series My Two Cents, a CNBC contributor, MSNBC commentator and BET columnist. Keith was also a founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition. His most recent book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough, won the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Nonfiction in 2013.