Jesse Jackson To Target Oil Companies On Diversity

Reuters, May 1, 2007

U.S. activist Rev. Jesse Jackson on Tuesday said his organization will target top energy companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips in a push to create more jobs for women and minorities in the industry.

Jackson said members of his Rainbow PUSH Coalition plan to buy stock in 20 of the world’s largest energy companies. As investors, the group will seek change by attending annual meetings, calling for talks with the companies’ chief executives and pressing for fairness hearings at the state level.

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Minorities have been underrepresented in all parts of the energy sector in the United States and are largely relegated to the role of consumer, Jackson said.

He did not offer statistics but described minority representation in the industry as “very low.”

As part of its efforts, Rainbow PUSH will examine the racial make-up of a company’s board of directors, its suppliers, its consultants, its contractors and its outside legal firms, Jackson said.

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