NASHVILLE, TN, May 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington that focused on employment and equal opportunity. Among the 250,000 people attending was a young man destined for greatness as the world watched, captivated by the likes of A. Phillip Randolph, gospel icon Mahalia Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Just off the podium as King delivered his infamous I Have A Dream Speech was Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.
Tennessee State University is pleased to announce that Reverend Jackson will deliver the University's 2013 Spring Commencement Address on Saturday, May 11. The graduation ceremony takes place outside in newly renovated Hale Stadium for the first time in nearly 40 years. Today, Reverend Jesse Jackson is an internationally known civil rights leader and remains at the forefront of world issues.
"I am excited that Reverend Jesse Jackson accepted the University's invitation to share his remarkable journey," says Tennessee State University President Glenda Baskin Glover. "His message will be extremely powerful as the nation and world commemorate this major event in history. TSU graduates will have the opportunity to hear from a central figure who was responsible for engaging youth in the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington."
Reverend Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one of America's foremost civil rights, religious and political figures. For more than 40 years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice.
Later this summer, citizens from across the United States will make the trek back to Washington, D.C., to commemorate and celebrate. The March, which became a key moment in the growing struggle for civil rights in the United States, was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital, and credited by many with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
ABOUT REVEREND JACKSON: A native of Greenville, S.C., Reverend Jackson began his activism while still a college student and went on to work side-by-side as a full-time organizer with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He founded Operation PUSH in December 1971 with the goal of expanding educational, business and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and people of color. He later established the National Rainbow Coalition, a social justice organization devoted to political empowerment, education, and public policy change.
For his work in human and civil rights and nonviolent social change, Rev. Jackson has received more than 40 honorary doctorate degrees and frequently lectures at major colleges and universities including Howard, Morehouse, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and Hampton. He was made an Honorary Fellow of Regents Park College at Oxford University in the UK in November 2007, and received an Honorary Fellowship from Edge Hill University in Liverpool, England. In March 2010, Reverend Jackson was inducted into England's prestigious Cambridge Union Society. In April 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
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. On Aug. 9, 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. He and his wife, Jacqueline, have been married 51 years and have five children.
Please call the TSU Office of Media Relations at 615-963-5331 for more information regarding commencement and to arrange interviews with Rev. Jackson.
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville's only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to u.s. news and world report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the country by washington monthly for social mobility, research and community service.
# # #