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Published on April 17, 2024
Dallas Pastor Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III Steps Down as Rainbow PUSH Coalition PresidentSource: Google Street View

The leader of the storied civil rights group Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which has championed social justice and equality for over five decades, has stepped down after a short tenure at the helm. The Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, the Dallas pastor who took over as president and CEO of the coalition in July, resigned suddenly on Tuesday, a tenure lasting less than a year.

Haynes, who has been a senior pastor at the Friendship-West Baptist Church since 1983, cited "a time of prayer and consultation" as central to his decision to resign from the role he had just recently embraced. "I am forever honored that the Rev. Jackson graciously considered me worthy of following him as president of the organization that he founded," Haynes said, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

In a statement that was first announced by Roland Martin on his Black Star Network, Haynes expressed his ongoing commitment to social justice, "I remain committed to honoring the rich history of RPC and the legacy of its esteemed leader, the incomparable Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., and, most significantly, to the calling and pursuit of social justice," Haynes stated. While he did not provide extensive details regarding the motives behind his departure, he reassured supporters that his "work in the fight for liberation and freedom continues."

The organization, founded in 1971 by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., a titan in the civil rights movement and a two-time presidential candidate, will now continue under the guidance of Jackson's son, Yusef Jackson who will remain in his role as Chief Operating Officer. Despite his advanced age and his battle with Parkinson's disease, the elder Jackson remains a visible and active voice in public affairs, exemplified by his attendance at a bustling Chicago City Council meeting in January. In light of Haynes' sudden exit, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition issued a thankful note, "We are grateful to Rev. Haynes for his service and leadership, continuing the work of our founder and President Emeritus Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.," as reported by CBS News.

The group's mission to advance civil rights and engage in political activism will persist as per the organization's statement, which emphasized its unrelenting commitment "to work for people and their right to fight for self-determination, and social and economic justice. We will carry on the vital work of protecting, defending, and gaining civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields. Our commitment to promoting peace and justice around the world remains unwavering."