Johnathan Luther Jackson is a United States Congressman representing Illinois’ 1st Congressional District since January of 2023. Reputably known as an advocate for civil rights Congressman Jackson is a business professor, activist in social justice, and former spokesman for the Rainbow Push Coalition (2004 – 2022), a merge of the two historical agencies Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and the National Rainbow Coalition, founded in 1984 by his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson with the intent to pursue “social justice, civil rights, and political activism.” Born in Chicago, Illinois on January 7, 1966, to Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson Sr, an infamous civil rights activist and Baptist minister and Jacqueline Lavinia Jackson, a famous author and peace activist. Congressman Jackson is the third of five children and the godson of the late great civil rights activist Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Congressman Jackson’s commitment to fight injustice and utilize his platforms to bring about positive changes was inspired by being surrounded by and connected to many leaders that played significant roles fighting for social justice, civil rights, and equality for members of marginalized communities Jackson saw first-hand, from a considerably close position, leadership and change makers.
Jackson attended Whitney Moore Young Jr. Magnet High School, the first public magnet high school named after the prominent figure that was also influential in the civil rights movement, as well as “War on Poverty” co-authored by former President Lyndon B. Johnson during the 1960s. For Undergraduate Jackson attended his parents’ alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in business. In 1988, Jackson served an as investment analyst for Drexel Burnahm Lambert. Jackson received his Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.
In 1995 Jackson married Marilynn Ann Richards, of the union the couple shares 3 children. Joining his brother, Yusef, Jackson, in 1998 Jackson became co-owner of Anheuser-Busch Company distributor River North Sales and Service LLC, based in Chicago.
With extensive knowledge, as well as witnessing firsthand the injustices and perils impacting so many individuals in marginalized communities Congressman Jackson has continued his commitment to fight injustice. Utilizing his platforms and his voice Congressman Jackson has worked extensively to ensure the voices of individuals are not lost or drowned out by the flood of systemic racism or inequality that they experience. Having an awareness of the actions and efforts that is needed to bring about effective change he has continued to bring such change to his community in the various roles he has been selected to serve. Continuing work in the investment industry Jackson was instrumental, with other minority investors, in the take-over of ION Media Networks in 2009. Jackson advocated for change in Chicago schools and fought against the closures of various schools that were selected to be taken over. From August 2011 until August 2013 Jackson served as a Professor at City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College and September 2013 until June 2015 as Professor of Business at Chicago State University.
Prior to running for office Jackson was vocal on issues that promoted social change, including investments in education and youth. After announcing the decision to run for office Jackson echoed the numerous actions, he has taken to demonstrate leadership and experience throughout his life to bring about effective change. November 8, 2022 Jackson was elected to serve as a member of Congressman and was sworn in January 3, 2023 where he serves as member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Agriculture committee, and Foreign Affairs committee in congress.
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Team, CBS Chicago. “Illinois Election: Democrat Jonathan Jackson Declares Victory in Illinois 1st Congressional District.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 9 Nov. 2022,
Pearson, Rick. “Jonathan Jackson, Son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Enters Race for Bobby Rush’s Congressional Seat.” Chicago Tribune, 29 Jan. 2022,
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