Jesse Jackson back at Amazon stockholders’ meeting, crusading for workforce diversity

It’s 2017, and much has changed since Jackson marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. But some old problems remain unresolved — like access to good jobs.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was in Seattle this week pressing Amazon.com to make its workforce and leadership look more like the population of the country.

It’s 2017, and much has changed since Jackson marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. But some old problems remain unresolved, and access to good jobs is among them.

Jackson, who’s 75 now, can still get into rooms that others can’t and bring attention to issues that need to be addressed. That allows him to continue to play a prominent role in advancing progressive causes.

At Amazon.com’s annual stockholders’ meeting Tuesday, Jackson pointed out that the board of directors is still all white. Said Jackson, according to a Seattle Times story about the meeting: “It does not represent America’s talent and America’s opportunity.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson urges progressives to connect for justice. (Jerry Large / The Seattle Times)

Amazon and many other tech companies import talent, because, they say, the United States doesn’t produce enough people qualified for high-skills jobs the industry needs to fill.

The evening before he spoke to leaders at Amazon, Jackson visited Seattle’s Mount Zion Baptist Church to rally local support for this and other work he and his organization, Rainbow/PUSH, are engaged in.

At Mount Zion, Jackson said, “There is nothing a child on the other side of the ocean has that children on this side don’t.”

Jackson said he has nothing against workers from other countries, but that more young people here should have access to those jobs. That means better education and more open doors.

“Don’t lock up our children (in the United States) and employ their children,” he said.

For the past several years, Jackson has focused on tech companies…

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