CHICAGO — Wednesday is the final day of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s 56th annual International Convention.

The South Side event included panels, discussions, job fairs and short- and long-term goals.

Reverend Jesse Jackson gave the final remarks at the Convention.

“Some big meetings have been happening here,” Jackson said. “This convention is nice.”

Rev. Jackson’s senior advisor Janette Wilson spoke about the importance of the convention.

“We talked about the opportunities and options that young people have,” Wilson said. “Then we had a celebration of Rev. Clay Evans and our annual gospel concert. But Monday is when we started the meat of the convention when looked at a number of things.”

Attendees appealed for the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner, who was arrested in February for carrying vape cartridges in her luggage at Moscow Airport. She is currently being held in Russia.

“Brittney Griner is in Russa and (they’re) using her as a human shield in this dancing war between Biden and Puttin. I want to go to Russia and meet with Putin. I plan to try and get her back. We have an obligation to try our best to set her free. The same goes for prison exchange and ending the war itself,” Jackson said.

The convention also focuses on issues like prison reform, voter rights and gun violence.

“How we’re going to stop the violence is No. 1: Ban on assault weapons, tracing the bullets that are in these guns, and then requiring a better system of checking,” Wilson said.

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Panelists also discussed opportunities in higher education and the existing college debt through panels, conversations and discussions.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux, president of Push Excel, also reminded attendees how important voting is.

“One thing remains, voting is the most important thing. It truly is the most important thing,” Malveaux said. 

Added Wilson: “We’re going across 11 southern states where most African Americans and people of color live. We are the majority.”