Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s Wall Street Project Economic Summit begins


Rev. Jesse Jackson. Photo: Facebook

The annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit organized by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund opens today in New York City.

This year’s Wall Street Project Economic Summit theme is “400 Years Later: Closing the Wealth Gap, Expanding Opportunity.”  The summit will feature sessions on closing the racial wealth gap, advancing consumer protection, the state of telecom and evolution of digital currencies, the tech industries and how they are expanding wealth opportunities, supplier diversity opportunities, diversity and inclusion on corporate boards and in C-suites, investing in Africa and globally, a fireside chat with Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health, and much more. 

The summit is held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel at 811 Seventh Avenue.

“We’re looking to expand upon the progress and discuss ways to increase opportunities for minorities and women,” Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and organizer of the Wall Street Project, said. “After 400 years, there is still much more work to be done in terms of our freedom, equity, diversity and inclusion, particularly in today’s political climate if we want to close the wealth gap and expand opportunity.”

The Wall Street Project’s Economic Summit will bring entrepreneurs, corporate executives and the nation’s leading policymakers together to increase business and employment opportunities for African Americans, women, and all people of color.

“History is an unbroken continuity that cannot be denied. Americans should not hide from the past nor engage in an extended exercise of rehashing 400 tragic years. However, we do need to continue to push to close the wealth gap and expand opportunities for African Americans,” Rev. Jackson said. “This year’s Summit plans to address where and what African Americans should and can do – since setting foot 400  years ago on U.S. soil.”

Day One: The Summit will consist of discussions on the State of Black America since Blacks were brought to America, closing the wealth gap, with panelists Alfred  A. Edmond, Jr. SVP/ Executive Editor-at-large, Black Enterprise and Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League and a fireside chat with Toni Townes-Whitley, President, U.S. Regulated Industries Colleges and Universities; and end with an opening reception where members of the Congressional Black Caucus will be in attendance.

Day Two:  Kicks off with a fireside chat with Rev. Jackson and Larry J. Merlo, President & Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health; a session on the racial wealth gap and its ties to Wall Street, including diversity on corporate boards, C-suites, consumer protection, the state of Historically Black Colleges and University, the annual Ministers & Labor Luncheon where the keynote speaker will be the Honorable Emanuel Cleaver II, U.S. Representative Missouri’s 5th congressional district. The day continues with a sports session and a session on the “Business of Hip Hop,” featuring an exclusive conversation with ‘2019 Living Legend’ honoree and Hip-Hop mogul Percy “Master P” Miller. On the evening, the Wall Street Summit will end with “Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund 22st Annual Wall Street Project Scholarship Gala,” which will include distinguished honorees and musical entertainment by singer, songwriter Lalah Hathaway.

Day Three: The Summit ends with a look at pension fund investment with minority money managers, an urban policy plenary, and its Business Luncheon with the Congresswoman Maxine Waters as the keynote speaker. CVS Health’s Merlo will also be honored with a Leadership Award for his commitment to diversity, which will be accepted by David L Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health.

Additional confirmed speakers to date include: Mehrsa Baradaran, Assoc. Dean, Strategic Initiatives; Robert Cotten Alston Associate Chair, Corporate Law,  University of Georgia School of Law, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver; Dr. Darrick Hamilton, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State, Reverend Al Sharpton, president and CEO, National Action Network, Janice Mathis, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women; Congressman Gregory W. Meeks – Senior Member- House Committee on Financial Services and Senior Member- House Foreign Affairs Committee;  John W. Rogers, Jr., CEO and CIO, Ariel Investments; and Gala Co-Chair Susan L. Taylor, Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emerita, Essence Magazine.

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