Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

‘Come alive, April five’ main emphasis of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s visit

Popular civil rights activist Jesse Jackson spoke to UW-Whitewater students, faculty and staff Tuesday night, emphasizing the importance of voting, especially in the upcoming April 5 election.

Popular civil rights activist Jesse Jackson speaks to the UW-Whitewater community Tuesday night. Photo by Michael Gouvion.

“Come alive April five” was Jackson’s go-to saying throughout his talk as he looked to motivate people to get out voting because the elected Wisconsin Supreme Court justice could have the ultimate say in whether Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget-repair bill is passed. About 400 people were in attendance.

Jackson also stressed voting for students to help keep tuition at where it is. Tuition is predicted to go up as much at an approximate eight percent.

“Students have the power to vote to lower tuition,” Jackson said after his talk. “We should be marching for student loan debt forgiveness. Students should fight for teachers, should fight for collective bargaining.”

Collective bargaining helps keep an adequate number of teachers around, adequate pay for those teachers and workplace safety, Jackson added.

“Students have the power to vote,” Jackson accentuated again. “This is what’s different today [than] when we marched for the right to vote in [1965] … I want students to know they have the power to vote.”

From cities like Milwaukee to Eau Claire, Green Bay to Chicago, Jackson said everyone has the right to vote at the school they attend that same day, but Walker is trying to take that right away with the bill that will require people to present a valid ID when they want to vote.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination will be commemorated on April 4, Jackson said.

“He died fighting for public workers,” Jackson said. “He was killed. Good news is one of them didn’t kill all of us, so he lives in us. On Tuesday, we show our appreciation for Dr. King and the legends who made the right to vote for all Americans possible … Believe that your vote does matter.”

Jackson listed off several presidential elections that ended with close vote totals to help support his point that voting matters.  With 11,000 students on the UW-Whitewater campus, Jackson said the students have the power to determine the legislature.

“Use that power to make democracy work for everybody,” he said.

Jackson said after capping off his “Voter Education Bus Tour” in Whitewater, he plans to march in Milwaukee on Saturday for voters and jobs, attend several church services on Sunday, and start making more tours on Monday.

“Come Tuesday, it’s dignity day,” Jackson said. “Vote with passion all day long. Come alive, April five.”

To see pictures of Jackson’s talk as well as students speakers and his interaction with students afterwards, see

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Founded 1901
‘Come alive, April five’ main emphasis of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s visit