New York, New York — On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 1997, Rev. Jesse Jackson announced the start of an economic undertaking designed to address disparities among minority business and the growing wealth gap. For twenty years, the Rainbow Push Wall Street Project has been at the forefront engaging executive leadership on Wall Street achieving the closure of the New York Stock Exchange to observe the King holiday. Under the direction of Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Push Team, the number of publically traded black-owned and minority firms has increased while advocating for an increase in minority corporate executive leadership. The organization actively advocates public and private sector to:
• Provide more business opportunities for minority and women-owned companies on Wall Street and throughout the financial services industry
• 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
At this year’s Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, a report card was developed to evaluate black business and engagement in a cross-sector analysis conducted by the Wall Street Project and Black Enterprise.
“Those who have been locked out from access to opportunity want the same from Corporate America that Corporate America wants from U.S. and foreign markets – balance of trade, open trade, and uninhibited access. If Corporate America could see the vast potential within our underserved minority communities, would Wall Street provide access to opportunities for economic growth and stability?” – Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.