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DECEMBER 29, 1998   4:18 PM
CONTACT: Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Jerry Thomas 202-333-5270 (o)
Dina Anderson 773-373-3366 (o)
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to Host Second Annual Wall Street Conference
WASHINGTON - December 29 - Building on the success of last year’s gathering, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s Wall Street Project is preparing its Second Annual Conference. The conference will cover a broad range of business topics and feature an imposing roster of speakers, including President Clinton, who also addressed the first meeting. The conference will also include workshops of economic substance to build a new relationship between Wall Street and the black and brown communities.

“We intend to replace the wall around Wall Street with a bridge,” said the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. “We must greenline a redlined America  in order that we might share in this country’s growth, wealth and prosperity. At its core, Wall Street is a close circle of subjective relationships. But as customers, workers, pension fund investors, we have a right to be involved as trading partners.”

The theme of the January 14-15 conference is “Building Trading Partnerships to Expand the Marketplace.”  All sessions will be held at Windows on the World, One World Trade Center in New York City. On January 14, there will be a Gala on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

 “We can do as well on Wall Street as we do on the basketball court and the football field,” Rev. Jackson said. “All we need is the opportunity. We are changing our relationship to the world of capital.  We bring to the table underserved markets, underutilized talent and untapped capital.” 

We are in the fourth stage of our movement for development.  The first stage was to end slavery, where all rights were denied. The second stage was to end legal segregation, which forced us into the margins. The third stage was the political franchise, which gave us the right to vote. And the fourth stage is access to capital and development.”

Rev. Jackson emphasized the inclusive nature of the conference. It will focus those who have been historically locked out and left behind.  Speakers include those from the public and private sectors, business and labor, Democratic and Republican parties. In addition to President Clinton and Rev. Jackson, the speakers will include Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Citigroup Chairman and co-CEO Sanford Weill, Freddie Mac Chairman Leland Brendsel, Inner City Broadcasting President Percy Sutton,  Rep. Richard Gephardt, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Jack Kemp, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Bush administration.

Small Business Administration Administrator Aida Alvarez, Federal Housing Finance Board Chairman Bruce Morrison and Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard, Wall Street Project Chair Maceo Sloan, Council on Economic Advisors Chair Gene Sperling, Chairman and CEO of United Bank of Philadelphia, Emma Chappell, Leo Guzman, president of Guzman and Company, WJYS-TV owner Joe Stroud, Tom Burrell of Burrell Communications, auto industry entrepreneurs Mel Farr and Dave Bing, President of the National Health and Human Service Employees Union, Dennis Rivera, communications entrepreneurs Isaiah Thomas and Chester Davenport also will address the gathering.

The Wall Street Project works to open up real business opportunities and foster employment at the highest levels for those who have been shut out. Jackson noted that Wall Street Project efforts also have resulted in a growing number of minority firms doing business with each other and greater government attention to developing vehicles to transport capital to underserved areas. 

“We’re very excited about our second anniversary conference,” said Chee Chee Williams, director of the Wall Street Project. “We have many more cosponsors this year. We are particularly pleased to have among our cosponsors minority enterprises that have benefited from our work.”

Planned workshops will examine:

  • Telecommunications trends
  • Acquisitions and mergers in the auto industry
  • The food market industry
  • Corporate board diversity
  • Broadcast advertising opportunities
  • Creation and mobilization of personal wealth
  • Franchise opportunities 101
  • African business opportunities
  • Minority sports ownership
  • Diverse entertainment partnerships.
Two new features will be added this year.  One is a Career Opportunity and Development Expo.  It is designed to bring together talented men and women with companies that believe in the principles of inclusion and diversity.

This year we are adding African economic opportunities to the agenda as we seek to globalize the flow of capital. 

Harnessing capital and mastering the art of finance are the premier challenges of our time. 




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