From Civil Rights to Obama: Jesse Jackson to Honour Liverpool’s Next Generation of Political Leaders

Equanomics UK is an ambitious attempt to achieve economic and racial equality by addressing and eradicating the structural inequalities and disproportionate socio-economic impacts of poverty experienced by Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities across the country.

This tour comes in light of the historic change happening in the USA with the election of the first Black President, Barack Obama. British BME communities up and down the country have been profoundly inspired by his election.

An Equanomics representative said: "Obama’s victory is a reinforcement of the Equanomics philosophy – race equality cannot be achieved without tackling social equality across the board. This is a moment in history we must not miss. Obama’s success affords us real hope here in the UK that if we inspire and mobilise a generation to become aware and active of our economical and political potential, racial and social justice can be achieved."

The UK challenge is clear: Britain’s Barack Obama generation must stand up and lead the political change. OBV and Liverpool City Council are a part of that change with the Liverpool Councillor Shadowing Scheme. The scheme aims to address the deficit of BME Councillors in Liverpool by enabling local BME individuals to gain an insight into the roles and responsibilities of a councillor. Scheme participants have spent their time learning how the council works, all aspects of the decision making process and the life of a local councillor and it is hoped that upon completion of the six month programme, many will stand for elected office.

Rev Jesse Jackson Snr will honour the participants of Liverpool City Council Councillor Shadowing Scheme at a special event alongside the Leader of the Council, The Lord Mayor and BME trailblazer Councillor Anna Rothery. The event will take place on Tuesday December 2nd at 6.30pm – 8.30pm at the Council Chamber, Liverpool Town Hall, High Street, Liverpool, L2 3SW.

Cllr Anna Rothery, Liverpool City Councillor said: “I believe OBV's contribution to ensuring the inclusion of our diverse communities, within politics in this city, is the singular most important change to ensuring Liverpool is truly representative of its rich communities & culture. This has changed the face of politics in this city and I look forward to the next tranche of shadows with great anticipation.”

Francine Fernandes, OBV Head of Councillor Scheme said: “The visit by Reverend Jackson so soon after the election of Barack Obama as the first BME President of the United States heralds a sea change in the political establishment and serves to inspire BME communities across the UK. The participants on the Shadowing Scheme are part of that political change which will allow greater diversity and representation within the Council Chamber to the benefit of all of Liverpool’s diverse communities.

Councillor Shadow Nathalie Nicholas said: “Rev Jesse Jackson’s visit to Liverpool is significant, not only for BME groups but for everyone in Liverpool. It allows our city to move on from the mistakes of the past - forging into the future, embracing change and diversity.”


Notes to the editor:

1. Operation Black Vote is a non-party political campaign.

2. The term ‘Black’ is a political term. It refers to African, Asian, Caribbean and other ethnic minorities.

3. The OBV & Liverpool City Council Councillor Shadowing Scheme was launched May 2008. Nine BME people from Liverpool were chosen to shadow Liverpool Councillors from the three main parties on the Council. Scheme participants (known as ‘Shadows’) attend meetings with their Mentor Councillor, OBV run training days with the aim of building the experience and confidence necessary to stand as a candidate for elected office.

4. Equanomics UK exists to tackle the issues of wage inequality, international trade policy, credit, loan and debt distribution amongst BME communities.

From Civil Rights To Equanomics: From Gandhi, King, Mandela To Obama will take place from 29th November – 2nd December 2008 in cities across the UK in which Reverend Jackson will be the keynote speaker.

Dates: London (29 November); Birmingham-Nottingham-Leicester (30 November) Leicester-Liverpool (1-2 December).

For more information about Equanomics UK please visit