The third day of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention was one of the most anticipated programs for the five-day conference at the Hyatt McCormick Place Hotel. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at the convention’s International Women’s Luncheon where close to 1,000 attendees waited for the former U.S. Secretary of State to arrive.

As guests made their way through the Secret Service checkpoint, newly appointed Community Affairs consultant for the Chicago Police Department, Robin Robinson was the designated emcee of the luncheon. Chaired by Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson and Mrs. Lucille Dobbins, key featured speakers and guests sat on the podium including U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (IL), Democratic Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx; Award-winning actress, Cicely Tyson; U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky (IL), Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Dorothy Brown; U.S. Rep Maxine Waters (CA); Minister Ray Gavin among some of the notable women at today’s luncheon.

Before Clinton’s arrival, award recipients were recognized by Rainbow PUSH as Flint, Michigan mom, Melissa Mays was given the Little Warrior Award for her persistent fight to bring awareness of the damaging lead water in her hometown. The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Nana Lordina Dramani Mahama was honored with the Lucille Conway-Loman Humanitarian Award, along with a rare appearance by the iconic actress–Cicely Tyson who was in attendance to accept the Legends Award.

Arriving from a special rally in Cincinnati with VP prospect, Senator Elizabeth Warren–Clinton was introduced by both Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. to a standing ovation. With an audience filled with supporters from faith, community, business leaders as well as educators and public officials–the former First Lady of the United States stood confidently at the podium addressing the audience.

Clinton covered the importance of healthcare but she also mentioned her March trip to Chicago’s far South Side at Kids Off the Block in the Roseland community. She recalled, “Rev. Jackson and I went down to the memorial of lost lives of young people taken by gun violence. It started out as a way to honor those lives lost; children–young people and teenagers. I’ve had the great honor of getting to know and work with the mothers who have lost children to gun violence,” said Clinton.
She acknowledged Annette Nance-Holt, mother of slain Chicago teen–Blair Holt who was shot and killed on a Chicago public bus in 2009. Clinton commended the Democratic Congressional Representatives who fought for gun control last week on Capitol Hill, disrupting the session with a sit-in. She says, “America is still mourning.”
Without missing a beat, the Democratic Presidential candidate, highlighted the most recent deadly attack at a Orlando nightclub, the one-year anniversary of the Charleston church massacre and the many lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago.
The ongoing violence that has taken hold of Chicago has reached national heights as she mentions the sixty-four people shot over the Memorial Day weekend. But, her voice elevates a notch as Clinton addresses the elephant in the room–Donald Trump.

“We’re up against a man with dangerous, incoherent ideas. He is for the white supremacists, he mocks people with disabilities. He says he wants to ban an entire religion, he wants to get rid of gun free zones around the schools, let more countries have nuclear weapons, default on our national debt, turn back the clock on marriage equality. He doesn’t think we need to raise the minimum wage. I can go on and on.”

As the crowd overwhelmingly applauds, she tells the audience that she must earn the American people’s trust. 

“I will do everything I can to rebuild your trust in our government,” she said.  “Trust is the glue that holds our democracy together. But it’s no secret that Americans trust in government has eroded. So has our trust in the media, business, religion, even professional sports–something that used to connect us and made it possible for us to believe in a shared present and a common future has worn away. It is crucial for our country to get this back.”
For a full schedule of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention: