December 09, 2000

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. announced the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project's 4th Annual Conference entitled Diversity in Corporate America: The Essential Best Practice, will take place in the capital of the business world, New York City. The conference will be held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers at 811 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan from Tuesday, January 23rd through Friday, January 26, 2001.

The mission of the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project is to promote inclusion, opportunity and economic growth by changing the climate in which underserved populations engage in economic life. The Wall Street Project does this by encouraging public and private industries to: improve hiring and promotion practices; name more minorities to corporate boards; award more business to minority companies; and increase the amount of business minority firms do with each other.

"The Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project works to build bridges to corporate America and new trading partnerships between the big and small that are mutually beneficial," said Rev. Jackson, founder and CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. "The Wall Street Project's growth has been robust and its accomplishments have been remarkable," Jackson continued. Many minority business owners and executives have benefited from the work of the Wall Street Project.

Just a few of the top invited guests include, First Lady and Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.); Congressman Charles Rangel; Richard Grasso, Chairman & CEO, New York Stock Exchange; Sanford I. Weill, Chairman & CEO Citigroup; John A. Thain, Co-President and Co-CEO, Goldman Sachs; Robert Pittman, President and COO, America Online; Bruce Gordon, President of Retail Markets, Verizon; Robert Benmosche, Chairman & CEO, MetLife, Inc.; Sumner M. Redstone, Chairman & CEO, Viacom; Robert Johnson, CEO, Black Entertainment Television; Percy Sutton, Chairman & CEO, Inner City Broadcasting; Earl G. Graves, Sr., Chairman, Editor and Publisher, Black Enterprise Magazine; Hugh Price, President, National Urban League; and Leland S. Brendsel, Chairman & CEO, Freddie Mac.

This year's conference includes: Career Opportunity and Development Expo; Young Professionals Seminar; CEO Plenary of the Insurance Industry; Community Development Plenary; Economic Trends Plenary; New Media & Internet Solutions Workshop; Diversity Workshop; General Counsel Relationships Workshop; Corporate Boards Workshop; Minister's Networking Reception; 1,000 Churches Recruitment Meeting; Insurance Industry Workshop; E-Commerce Workshop; Alliances Workshop; Global Business Workshop; Public Policy, Private Opportunity Workshop; Doing Business with Pro Sports Teams Workshop; Economic Literacy Workshop; and the Attracting Capital to Investment Workshop.

The conference is known for its extraordinary black-tie Gala fundraising reception on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which will take place the evening of Thursday, January 25, 2001. Corporate sponsors for the Gala include Platinum Sponsors: Verizon, New York Stock Exchange and Freddie Mac. Gold Sponsors: AT&T, Citigroup, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Goldman Sachs and MetLife. Silver Sponsors: American General Corporation, Black Enterprise, J.P. Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse First Boston, Daimler Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, Merrill Lynch & Company, Inc., M.R. Beal & Company, Pepsi-Cola Company, Progress Investment Management Company, Prudential, Raytheon, Telecommunication Systems, Inc., GE Mortgage Insurance Corporation, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Texaco. Bronze Sponsors: Applied Materials, BMW, Boeing, Paine Webber, UPS, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Ormes Capital Markets, Inc., Safeway, Inc., Calhoun Enterprises, Carrington & Carrington, Chevron, Hispanic Business Magazine, Holland & Knight LLP, IBM Corporation, Integrated Systems Analysts, Inc., Pharos Capital, Securities Industry Association, Sloan Financial Group and The Williams Capital Group.

For additional information about the conference, please call the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project in New York at 212-425-7874. Verizon will provide live streaming of the conference on the web at www.rainbowpush.org .

The Wall Street Project is a continuation of the work of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. It started when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appointed Rev. Jackson to run Operation Breadbasket in Chicago in the early 1960's. Rev. Jackson's economic focus continued with Operation PUSH for the next three decades. Victories such as the first African-American owned automobile dealership and the campaign against Jewell and A&P paved the way for today's Wall Street Project. On January 15, 1997, Rev. Jackson launched the Wall Street Project in New York. Since then additional regional offices have opened in eight other major U.S. cities, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Jose, Houston, Cleveland, Detroit and Atlanta. Each office is named for the financial street or industry focus of the region's satellite office.

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