Dr. Frederick D. Haynes

Rev. Jesse Jackson Names Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III New President and CEO of Rainbow PUSH Coalition

The incomparable Rev. Jesse Jackson has named social justice pastor Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III the new successor of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

On Friday, July 15, 2023, the civil rights leader and protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. officially announced his retirement.

Jackson established Operation PUSH in 1971 as a way to promote and amplify employment opportunities for Black communities across the United States. He later launched the National Rainbow Coalition in 1984 with the goal of protecting, defending, and gaining  equal rights for all Americans, according to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. It eventually merged with PUSH in 1996.

“Rev. Jesse Jackson has made the world a better place, breaking down barriers, opening previously locked doors of opportunity, fighting for justice, and refusing to take “no” for an answer on behalf of those who have no voice,” said Haynes, who also serves as senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church, a megachurch in Dallas, with more than 13,000 members, according to a press release obtained by BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“Rainbow PUSH has been the organizational vehicle that he has driven in the movement for justice. I am honored and humbled that he has “tapped” me to serve as his successor as the President and CEO of this great organization.”

The leadership transition took place on Sunday, July 16, 2023, at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s national convention at the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the event. 

“It is my joy to congratulate Reverend Dr. Freddie Haynes. I have known him and worked with him for over 20 years, including when we worked together years and years ago in the early days of the Criminal Justice Reform movement. I am so confident in his leadership and his ability to carry on the greatest traditions of this organization and to meet the challenges of this moment,” Harris said.

Well-known for advocacy of marginalized communities, Haynes is further solidifying his national recognition as “the drum major for justice.” He was awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Leadership Award in Community Service in 2022 and was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2016. 

From leading protests and demonstrations and serving as a voting super center to providing food and decreasing crime, Haynes is far from finished. He continues to create positive and lasting change in the community with the Friendship-West Baptist Church.

“Sadly, justice and human rights are under attack in the nation and around the world. The work of Rainbow PUSH is as necessary as ever and I am committed to standing on the shoulders of Rev. Jackson and continuing the fight for freedom, peace, equity, justice, and human rights,” said Haynes, per the press release.

In addition, Haynes teaches college courses and workshops at Paul Quinn College, Texas Christian University, McCormick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and other institutions of higher learning.