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AM 1200 WCHB’s Mildred Gaddis took her show on the road to broadcast live from The Rainbow PUSH Coalition 39th Annual Conference. Mildred spoke with Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition as well as his distinguished panel of scholars, economists and civil rights leaders and Entrepreneurial fishermen/oyster-man based out of the golf coast. This event is amazing because it does not discriminate financially or socially, with that being said many ideas and solutions were discussed. With the BP Oil Spill affecting so many African American businesses it was also a hot topic for conversations.

The Highlights

Mildred was the center of attention, not only did she get some time out of Rev Jesse Jackson’s schedule on his busy day, he also brought over some amazing figures in the African American Community such as Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, one of the greatest leaders African people have produced, as well as Rev. Allan Boesak a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and was a politician and anti-apartheid activist. Boesak first became known as a liberation theologian, starting with the publication of his doctoral work (Farewell to Innocence, 1976). For the next decades he continued to write well-received books, collections of essays, sermons, and so on.

Interview With Ernest Green Part One:

Interview With Ernest Green Part Two:

Interview With Dr. Julius Garvey Part One:

Interview With Dr. Julius Garvey & An Unexpected Walk Up Interview With Rev. Allan Boesak:

The Full Story

While speaking with Rev. Jesse Jackson they touched base on his journey in founding the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. As they recalled, Rev. Jesse Jackson was jailed while trying to use a “white’s only” public library in Greenville, South Carolina. That event was commemorated on Monday evening at the Push Excel Scholarship Gala. Seven other students who were arrested with Jackson that day were honored at Monday’s Gala.

Rev. Jesse Jackson also wanted to bring to light the ‘holes’ in coverage of the oil spill by the media. He states that BP is ‘bringing Mexican’s from across the border to exploit them’ because its cheaper and that labor laws are not enforced being that most of these workers would be sent home if they complained about working conditions. Which led them into a conversation about Urban areas and unemployment. Mildred asked what was on his wish list to tackle immediately, and he said that with policies to build Iraq and Afghanistan, there needs to be and Urban policy. He says if the country is at a nine percent unemployment rate and that is considered a recession, then areas like Chicago who are upward of twenty and thirty percent is a depression and in a state of emergency.

Interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson Part One:

Interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson Part Two:

Mildred also spoke with the President of the Louisiana Oyster Association and 3rd generation Fisherman/Oyster-man Byron Encalade.

Mildred asked that if BP has done what larger companies have historically done in the Black community: put someone on the pay role and act as an agent to deal with the natives to create an image that everything is fine. Mr. Encalade stated that they did, he was the chosen man but he refused stating, ‘my responsibility is to my people, to my community.’

After speaking to Mr. Byron Encalade, Mildred spoke to his son Telly S. Medina.

Telly who is the Chief Operating Officer of Red & Blue Business & Political Consulting Firm. Telly recalled his father losing five of his boats to Hurricane Katrina, watching him build his business up to par from this loss, and then watch him and his business suffer due to the BP oil spill. He calls for action by Congress to protect the people of the Gulf Coast for disasters such as Katrina and the oil spill.

Continuing on the subject of the BP oil spill, Mildred spoke with Rev. Tyronne Edwards the Executive Director of Zion Travelers Cooperative Center.

Rev. Edwards, who is based out of Louisiana. He feels that BP insulted the community by bringing people in to help with the spill, when he says that the jobs should be given to natives as they are ready to work.

Rev. Tyronne Edwards Interview Part One:

Rev. Tyronne Edwards Interview Part Two:

Darrell Jefferson, President of The Amalgamated Transit Union Chicago Local 241, joined Mildred to speak about his interest in the mission of Rainbow PUSH.

He states ‘Rainbow PUSH has a tradition of helping people who can’t help themselves, or don’t know how to help themselves has been my real motivation. Jefferson also piggy backed on what Rev. Tyronne Edwards said about BP giving the Louisiana locals the jobs. He said that the people of the region need to ‘mobilize and demand these jobs’. Speaking on jobs, Mr. Jefferson wanted to clarify the notion that Unions destroy workplaces and create an anti labor atmosphere is untrue, stating that the sole purpose of a union is to ‘help men and women earn and ensure a decent wage.’ Mildred and Darrell also spoke about the economy affecting the transportation industry, in turn cutting access to these services for commuters who really need it.

Lastly Mildred Finished Out Her Broadcast with Dr. Bernie Miller, Census Bureau Adviser and Senior Pastor in Chattanooga, TN. They spoke about the youth and the problems young people face when they are struggling on a minimum wage job vs. the sight of seeing a drug dealer make a lot of money in half the time. He also wanted to expose what he feels BP is doing: worrying about the dollar instead of the people. He feels that if they were truly concerned that they would have turned off the rig, however they want to see how much they can get out or save. He feels that if there mission was truly about the people and they environment that they would treat this as the Soviets did: ‘nuke it and cut it off.’

The Rainbow Push Coalition hosted several panel discussions and workshop sessions on issues impacting urban and minority communities. Those topics included health care, women’s issues, democracy and development in Haiti, business education, urban infrastructure, home preservation, and the digital revolution. Conference participants also had the opportunity to take part in a career expo that was held on Monday.

For full coverage, events and information please visit: http://www.rainbow for more information.