Rev. Jesse Jackson pushes for community involvement in Fort Valley
FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – It’s not too often kids can get a history lesson in person with the people they read about. Well that’s what happened Thursday for students in Fort Valley when civil rights icon Jesse Jackson stopped by to share an important message.
Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. wants each student he meets to make that promise.
Hundreds of middle schoolers and those at Fort Valley State University listened to his every word on Thursday — taking them in with plans to take action.
“Get my study habits better,” one student said.
Jackson says it’s important to reach out to the young people now because there’s a lot that’s changed in the past several decades.
“One…students must learn to live together across lines of race and gender. We are a new south and a better country because we are learning to live together not just survive a part,” Jackson said.
The civil rights leader’s message was about bettering yourself to be able to succeed in the world today.
From education….to community involvement…even immersing yourself in a foreign language…
“Learn to speak more than one language. Two-thirds of our neighbors of Central and Latin America speak Spanish. English is a minority language in our hemisphere. So we must learn to live and talk and share and trade together,” Jackson said.
Students say they were excited for the opportunity.
“I felt good. I heard about him and what he did and then when I saw him in person I was just like wow,” one student said.
“It felt amazing. I mean he was with the late Dr. Martin Luther King and it just felt good,” another student said.
Jackson says the mission is to create an educated, involved community.
“They must study diligently. Lastly, they must also have equal opportunities. They must have the resources they need in order to make education a priority,” he said.
Jackson is also pushing to have a voting precinct on Fort Valley State’s campus, telling students their voices should be heard now more than ever.