The news last year was abuzz with the Occupy Wall Street movement, a grassroots effort to make changes for the regular people, the middle and below to put people ahead of profits.
This is nothing new for Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push organization, which has been battling Wall Street for inclusion and piece of the American pie for the African Americans, other ethnic minorities, the downtrodden and the middle class, for years.
The 15th Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit will kick-off Wednesday, January 25 and run through Friday, January 27, 2012 at the Sheraton NY Hotel & Towers in New York, NY. The theme is "We Are One World – Bringing Everyone to the Table: Celebrating Fifteen Years of Access to Capital, Industry and Technology."
"We can not accept high profile jobs as a substitute for ownership, access to capital and self-determination," said Rev. Jackson in a phone interview. Wall Street and corporate America has kicked regular "Joe's" to the curb.
"Right now there is a trend to undermine Black business institution development. For example about a quarter of our newspapers are in jeopardy of going out of business this year. He stated advertising agencies and corporations have cut advertisement in Black press, but continue to pour their dollars in the daily white papers.
"The NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) serves a different function than the daily white papers. We're losing radio and TV stations, because the tax certificate has been withdrawn and whites who have been given stations by lottery won't have an incentive to sell them to ethnic minorities."
Just as we are losing radio and TV stations, we end up losing the right to access to the people. We are losing car dealerships. Only five major cities have Black car dealerships in the country."
"So there is an attack on ownership and self-determination. We intend, in a major way, at the conference in New York to address enforcing contract compliance, enforcing EEOC, enforcing affirmative action, fighting for our fair share, ownership and self-determination," said a determined Rev. Jackson.
The Wall Street Project was founded in 1996 by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and the Citizenship Education Fund, and officially launched by Rev. Jesse Jackson and prominent minority business owners on January 15, 1997, Dr. King's birthday.
The Wall Street Project challenges corporate America to end the multi-billion dollar trade deficit with minority vendors and consumers and works to assure equal opportunity for diverse employees, entrepreneurs, and consumers.
The Project uses Operation Breadbasket's model of research, education and negotiation and reconciliation to achieve its mission to promote inclusion, opportunity and economic growth by encouraging public and private industries to improve hiring, promotion and retention practices; name more minorities to corporate boards; allocate more capital to minority companies; promote intra-trade relationships among diverse businesses; increase funding for educational scholarships, and voter registration education; increase financial literacy in minority and/or underserved communities through the work of the One Thousand Churches Connected program.
Some of the country's top corporate representatives all segments of business will be represented including finance and securities, labor leaders and organizational leaders, along political leaders will participate in the conference. "At the ministers and labor breakfast on Wednesday morning we will deal with the issue of home foreclosures and church foreclosures.
"We will be relentless in our struggle of self-determination, contracts and business development," proclaimed the longtime civil rights leader.
The conference will also tackle women's gender and equality issues and their lack of at lack of access to capital. He noted that African Americans must be steadfast in their effort to build Black institution.
"We must know high profile job is not a trade off for institutional development. You cannot inherit a job, but you can inherit a business."
"Whether it's a funeral home, newspaper, radio and TV station or bank, we must keep building institutions." Jackson noted this is vital for the African American grow and prosper.