A New Chapter in the Movement: Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III formally installed as Rainbow PUSH Coalition president and CEOdfwnewsa | February 9, 2024 | 0 | Dallas News
Making history on the first day of Black History Month, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III was formally installed as the president and CEO of Rainbow PUSH Coalition at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Feb. 1. TBAAL holds great significance to Haynes, as well as the greater Dallas community, which he has faithfully served and poured into for decades.
Haynes is the senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church, a megachurch with more than 13,000 members. He teaches college courses and workshops at several institutions of higher learning, including Paul Quinn College. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Paul Quinn as well as various other boards, particularly those in underserved and minority communities. Additionally, he is the namesake of the Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III Global Preparatory School, located on the campus of Paul Quinn. It serves students grades 6-12 who seek to enter the International Baccalaureate program.
The sold-out installation event featured VIP program participants and attendees from all over the country, including Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, Shavonne Arline-Bradley of the National Council of Negro Women, Dr. Michael Sorrell with Paul Quinn College, journalist Roland Martin, Dr. Amos Brown, and Dr. Ron Daniels of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, among others.
Tashara Parker, Emmy award-winning journalist, served as the mistress of ceremonies. A livestream is available to watch courtesy of Roland Martin Unfiltered, a Black-owned media network on YouTube. Both the installation ceremony and the president’s Inaugural Social Justice Conference were presented by Sound Design Studios, a Dallas-based Black-owned production company.
The speakers recalled the works and words of Jesse Jackson, as well as the relationship between Jackson and Haynes. They all echoed the sentiment that Haynes was the right choice for the position.
One of the most powerful moments was a video with clips that focused on Jackson’s life.
“You see me on TV, but you don’t know the me that makes me, me,” Jackson said in a clip from his speech during the 1988 Democratic National Convention.
“You talk about not being able to be able to do the stuff folk take for granted, and the young guys who didn’t want to talk didn’t want to hear them; they started crying because he was able to convince them. ‘I do really understand. You think you got it bad record – who my, what my name is, where it came from, what my background is,” said Nelson D. Myers III, vice president of NAN, as he explained what took place in the background.
‘You see I was born to a teenage mother who was born to a teenage mother,” Jackson continued. “I understand. I know abandonment and people being mean to you and saying you’re nothing and nobody and can never be anything. I understand.”
Sharpton recalled how he met Jackson many years ago when he wore a large afro, vests, dashikis and a medallion.
“I said, well, I can be this kind of preacher. I like this,” Sharpton recalled as he began his speech. “And I modeled a lot after him. … I wanted to be like Jesse. And he has been a teacher and a mentor to me personally, as well as to this nation. If there wasn’t of Jesse Jackson, a lot of what we achieved as a people and as a nation would not have happened.”
Sharpton talked about his years of knowing Jackson and how close they became. He also talked about the history of the country and the issues that the country currently faces.
“We are in some very wicked times,” he said. “Look at the time we are in; everything that was gained in the ‘60s is now under threat. They talk about affirmative action, women’s rights, diversity, inclusion, voting rights, like somebody woke up and gave us that. Nobody donated anything to us. We fought for everything we got, and we need to get back to fighting right now. And that’s why I’ve come to celebrate Freddy, because we need fighters in the pulpit… We need a fighter like Freddy Haynes.”
Many speakers also shared their gratitude for the work that Haynes has already done, as well as their high hopes in his ability to lead Rainbow PUSH Coalition and serve as an example for the next generation. In doing so, each speaker ultimately connected the work from the Civil Rights Movement to the work being done today.
“We have to put the action in social action to our various initiatives, registering voters, getting out the vote, spreading awareness on important issues, educating the community on these oppressive voting laws and elevating the voices of the community in the quest for a more equitable and just future,” said Elsie Cooke Holmes, International President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a historically Black sorority. “It’s going to take each and every one of us. We must stand together and, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”
Several speakers also expressed the importance of community support, when speaking in favor of Haynes’ elevation and the formal work ahead of him in this new role.
“I’m here to tell you that the transformation is up to all of us,” expressed Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett, who is a member of Haynes’ congregation at Friendship-West Baptist Church and represents Texas’ 30th District. “There is no movement that doesn’t take all of us.”
Additional members of historically Black fraternities and sororities emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts and community support. “Today we celebrate a great man who will take us far,” said Joya T. Hayes, South Central Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. “How far? As far as our imagination will take us, as far as we will allow him the support – the funding and spiritual support – that he needs. As far as we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for the cause of liberation and bettering our community.”
Martin emphasized the need for Black businesses, churches, organizations and press to all work together.
“This is an opportunity for us to say we are going to create an ecosystem that speaks for us, that represents us, that is going to stand for us, that is going to fight for us,” Martin said.
The role of the Black church was a continued theme, further connecting the work of Haynes as a social justice pastor to the agenda he has set for Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Haynes was sworn in by Sorrell.
“How appropriate it is during Black History Month, that we look back… but we look forward to a great future,” said Haynes immediately after taking the oath at the sold-out installation.
Haynes also thanked every person who mentored, worked with or otherwise supported him in his work, particularly Jackson, who he compared to Jackie Robinson in opening doors for those who came after him.
The following day, Rainbow PUSH hosted the President’s Inaugural Social Justice Conference at Paul Quinn College. The conference was a call to action as well as a reminder that the fight for social justice is far from over and requires the collective effort of every individual to bring about meaningful change.
Among the speakers were author and activist Tamika Mallory; lead pastor and executive director Pastor Mike McBride; preacher, scholar and researcher Rev. Dr. Brianna K. Parker; pastor, author, and activist Rev. Tisha Dixon Williams; civil rights and social policy advocate, attorney, and CEO Jennifer Jones Austin; author, activist, and educator former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.; and Haynes.
Sessions included the Social Justice Master Class, Creating Economic Structures that are Just, the Disinherited Conference and Curriculum for the 2024 Election, the last of which is applicable for churches, organizations and individuals. Haynes has been focused on making positive change in his new role, with a national agenda to address issues with courts, the end of affirmative action, economic justice, educational equity and justice and the effects of climate change on communities of color. He is a 2016 inductee to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and is best known as a social justice pastor and advocate for marginalized communities. Known nationally as “the drum major for justice,” he has modeled his ministry and leadership like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., focused on the intersections of faith and justice.