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Jesse Jackson, Jr.

United States

Jesse Jackson, Jr. is a prominent member of the United States House of Representatives and a longstanding advocate for expanding developmental aid funding to Africa and Liberia especially.

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Created: 31st Jul 2008
Modified: 31st Jul 2008
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
Representative for the Second District of Illinois
Working primarily in:
United States

Description of Work:
During his thirteen years in the House of Representatives, Jackson has established himself as a leader in advocacy for aid to sub-Saharan Africa, and Liberia especially. In an interview with allAfrica.com, Jackson described the United States' relationship with Africa over the past 450 years as 'dubious' because of slavery, and later on, its financing of various anti-communist dictatorships during the Cold War, and its lack of involvement in humanitarian causes in Rwanda and elsewhere. In Jackson's view, to move , the United States needs to establish a new relationship based on H.O.P.E., which stands for Human rights, Opportunity, Partnership and Empowerment. To achieve this, he has advocated a strengthening of trade ties between the United States and Africa, and greater transparency in those relations. This year, Jackson introduced a bill for the Liberian SEEDS Act, which he describes as the single-country version of the kind of work which should be done across the entire continent. If passed, the act will allocate $12 million to infrastructure development, education, security and civil service rehabilitation. The program would be one of the largest and most comprehensive single initiatives Liberia has ever received. President Bush has already said that he is in support of assisting Liberia and is expected to OK the bill. Jackson has said throughout his career that as an African American, he feels a special bond with Africa, and that in many ways, he considers it home. He says this is a large part of the reason why he feels a strong need to advocate greater support for the continent.
Biographical Information
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Mar/11/1965
Gender: male
Place of Origin: United States
Jesse Jackson, Jr. was born in Greenville, South Carolina in the midst of the civil rights struggle. His father is the prominent civil rights activist and two-time presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, Sr. During his first campaign for the House or Representatives, Jackson said that growing up under the famed leader granted him 'a lifetime of political experience' since from an early age he was involved with a number of protests, marches and civil rights campaigns.

In 1987, Jackson graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University, Greensboro, N.C. Two years later, he received his M.A. from Chicago Theological Seminary, where he would make his home.

In 1993, Jackson received his J.D., also from the University of Chicago, and in 1995, Jackson was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives for Chicago.

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