"Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." –Colin Powell
- Born on October 8, 1941 to a sixteen-year-old high school student and her 33-year-old married neighbor.
- As a young boy, he was often made fun of for being an out-of-wedlock kid, but the persecution increased his drive for success.
- He attended Sterling High School and was elected class president, was tenth in his class, and received letters in baseball, football, and basketball. Sterling High was a racially segregated high school.
- He rejected a contract with a minor league baseball team in 1959 so that he could attend University of Illinois on a football scholarship.
- He transferred to North Carolina A&T in his second semester. Illinois was a predominately white university while A&T was an historically black university in Greensboro, North Carolina.
- Was a quarterback at A&T and was elected student body president.
- During this time, Jackson was actively participating in civil rights protests. He protested in white-only libraries, theaters, and restaurants.
- Married Jacqueline Lavinia Brown in 1962 and they had five children together.
- Received his B.S. in Sociology in 1964 and was getting his master’s degree at the Chicago Theology Seminary on a scholarship, but he dropped out to become more active in the civil rights movement.
- In 1965, Jackson was a part of the Selma to Montgomery marches. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was so impressed with him that he assigned him to establish a front-line office for the South Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Chicago.
- Dr. King and James Bevel made Jackson head of the Chicago Branch’s economic arm called Operation Breadbasket. Was promoted to national director in 1967.
- Jackson’s main goal of Operation Breadbasket was to encourage massive boycotts to force white-owned businesses to hire blacks and purchase their goods and services.
- Was supported and funded by Dr. T.R.M. Howard. Howard also introduced Jackson to important members of the black community in Chicago.
- Because of Jackson’s efforts, Operation Breadbasket had weekly workshops that had white and black political and economic leaders. There were also religious services with a choir and jazz band.
- Jackson was ordained a minister in 1968 and was involved in SCLC leadership disputes after Dr. King’s death in April.
- Helped with the SCLC’s Poor People’s Crusade in D.C. Received credit for managing its 15-acre tent city.
- Jackson clashed a lot with Ralph Abernathy. Abernathy tried to kick him out of Chicago in 1971 but Jackson refused to move. There was a split between Jackson and Abernathy in October 1971 and Jackson was suspended from Operation Breadbasket. Ultimately, Jackson left SCLC and he and his follows formed an organization called Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity). It was later called PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity).
- Jackson negotiated the release of Lt. Robert Goodman when he was a prisoner in Syria. They went to the White House in 1984. Jackson also negotiated the release of 22 Americans who were prisoners in Cuba.
- In 1991, he negotiated with Saddam Hussein to release British and American prisoners. Twenty Americans were freed.He was an ambassador for the U.S. on multiple occasions, freeing POWs or promoting freedom for the people.
- On Memorial Day, May 25, 1987, Jesse was made a Master Mason on Sight by Grand Master Senter of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Illinois; thereby making him a Prince Hall Freemason.
- Ran for president in 1984 and 1988 but did not win.
- In 1971, Jackson was placed in the “100 most influential black Americans” list in Ebony Magazine.
- Award the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in 1989.
- Received the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service in 1991.
- Was awarded by President Bill Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom in August 2000.
- Molefi Kete Asante included Jackson in the “100 Greatest African Americas” list.
- Was voted “the most important black leader” in an AP-AOL “Black Voices” poll in February 2006.
- Inherited the title of the High Prince of the Agni people of Côte d'Ivoire from Michael Jackson.
- Crowned the Prince Côte Nana by Amon N’Douffou V, King of Krindjabo.
What can you learn from Jesse Jackson to improve your stakeholder management skills?
- Develop a communication strategy and learn the art of effective communication.
- Understand and analyze your stakeholder's influence map, concerns, incentives and motivations.
- Realize that resistance is normal.
- Listen to your stakeholders feedback.
- Engage the right people at the right time.
Additional Principles of Execution Resources on Stakeholder Management:
Principles of Execution Key Concepts:
- Effective Comunication
- Jesse Jackson
- Stakeholder Management
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