Jonathan Jackson

Jonathan Luther Jackson is a businessman, professor and social justice advocate, known for his keen analysis of the social and economic forces that prevent America from being a more perfect union. A gifted educator, Jackson is hailed for his facile analyses of public education, the justice system and the stark realities that lurk behind abstruse economic theory. Jackson is the son of Jesse Jackson, civil rights icon and minster. Jonathan Jackson has rightfully taken his place in the social justice dynasty. Jackson champions the cause of children, the wrongfully convicted and economically marginalized as an astute observer, scholar and thought leader.

Jackson grew up on the front lines of many worldwide social justice and human rights milestones. In 1983, he traveled to Syria to join negotiations with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to release captured American pilot Navy Lt. Robert Goodman. He met Fidel Castro in 1984 as a member of a coterie that helped to negotiate the release of 22 Americans being held in Cuba.He was in Venezuela August 2005 and met with late-President Hugo Chávez.

In 2007, Jonathan Jackson took up the cause of the wrongfully convicted and innocent as national spokesman for the RainbowPUSH Coalition. He has taken responsibility to seeing that these men and women are restored to the rights and privileges of full citizenship. Notably, Jackson has raised the profiles of innocents, such as Johnnie Lee Savory, Tabitha Pollock and Barney Brown — people who were wrongfully convicted — and continues to pursue the full restoration of their good names.

In addition to speaking eloquently on behalf of police torture victims and demanding legal remedies, Jackson has personally counseled and ministered to the needs of these (mostly) men who emerge from prison with nothing but the clothes on their backs. His advocacy and common sense outreach aims to restore these individuals to full manhood by treating them with integrity and respect.

As a business professor at Chicago State University, Jackson is committed to excellence, educational access and fairness. He has vigorously advocated for the needs of children, fighting public school closures and capricious policies that thwart the ability of all children to achieve a quality public education. He warns of the looming mass divestment of public education through the misguided efforts of No Child Left Behind or wholesale efforts to embrace charter schools, which he considers underfunded enterprises with an uneven track record for improving educational outcomes. Jackson keeps it simple: “There’s no such thing as problem children … only children with problems,” says the solutions-oriented advocate.

Educated at North Carolina A&T University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Jonathan Jackson can be seen or heard regularly on the RainbowPUSH TV show, cable TV’s worldwide Word Network show, “UpFront With Jesse Jackson” and weekly on WVON 1690 radio.