Jesse Jackson to continue UCA lecture series

By Rachel McAdams

College of Fine Arts and Communication Media Office

The Rev. Jesse Jackson will continue the Log Cabin Democrat Lecture Series at the University of Central Arkansas on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, one of America’s foremost political figures, will speak at the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m. on the University of Central Arkansas campus.

“Jesse Jackson is one of those people who appear in sound bites on television,” Jerry Biebesheimer, director of UCA Public Appearances, said.  “We are looking forward to getting to hear him at length and unedited.”

Jackson has been called the “Conscience of the Nation” and “the Great Unifier,” challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and humane priorities for the benefit of all.

Jackson was born on Oct. 8, 1941, in Greenville, S.C. He attended public schools in Greenville before enrolling in the University of Illinois on a football scholarship. He later transferred to North Carolina A&T State University and graduated in 1964. He began his theological studies at Chicago Theological Seminary but deferred his studies when he began working full-time in the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was ordained on June 30, 1968, by the Rev. Clay Evans and received his earned Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2000.

According to, “he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice.”

On Aug. 9, 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Jackson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his life as a civil rights activist. In 1965, he participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches organized by Dr. King and other civil rights leaders before being named by King to lead Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, dedicated to improving the conditions of black communities in the area.

“At UCA Public Appearances, we are excited to be part of a program and a university that brings people of Reverend Jackson’s caliber to campus,” Biebesheimer said. “It will be a special opportunity, not just for our students and campus, but for all of Central Arkansas.”

Tickets for the Jackson lecture are available at the UCA Ticket Central Box Office, are $10 for adults, $5 for students and children, $5 for UCA faculty and staff, and free for UCA students with a current student I.D. (limit of two tickets). For tickets, call (501) 450-3265 or toll free from anywhere in Arkansas at 1-866-810-0012 or visit

The film screening and panel discussion are free and open to the public.