The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund are hosting the 16th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, a gathering that will bring together politicians, business leaders, academics, and others to discuss the economic issues facing the black community and how to overcome them.
Among the familiar names that will be in attendance are President Bill Clinton, Rev. Al Sharpton, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and California Rep. Maxine Waters. Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, will be the special honoree at a fundraiser gala. And the topics up for discussion include career management, “the business of hip hip,” public contracts and procurement, advertising and minority media, and building minority businesses. The event is taking place Wednesday, January 30 to Friday, February 1. Madame Noire will be there, reporting back all the interesting info we gather.
Before that, Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, held a teleconference with the media today to talk about what we can expect from the event. Media outlets participating besides Madame Noire included The Huffington Post and The Grio.
“Our politics are up, but our economy is down,” Rev. Jackson said during his opening remarks. Some of the afflictions that ail minority businesses and neighborhoods are the lack of access to capital, credit, and investment, he continued.
“There’s a focus on the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling, but we’re still facing poverty,” he said. He also emphasized the devastating effect that personal financial ruin are having on black-owned businesses and black communities.
“When plants close… when homes are targeted and foreclosed on, and people driven to bankruptcy, there’s no market. The community dries up,” he said. He was responding to a question we asked about the need for black businesses to hire blacks as a way to lower the persistently high unemployment rate among African Americans.
In poverty-stricken areas, Rev. Jackson called for “day care, transportation, job training, and jobs.” He also highlighted the effect of “devastating redlining” and other practices at financial institutions that have been detrimental.
For more information about The Wall Street Project Economic Summit, click here.