High Impact Leadership Coalition

Bishop Harry Jackson, a fervent opponent of gay rights and an equally fervent supporter of President George W. Bush, founded the High Impact Leadership Coalition to promote his "Black Contract With America on Moral Values," a six-point platform calling for a prohibition of same-sex marriage, school vouchers, and private Social Security investment accounts, among other things. During the 2004 election, Jackson played a prominent media role in efforts to encourage African-Americans to vote for President George W. Bush.

High Impact Leadership Coalition
PO Box 505
College Park, MD 20741-0505
Website: www.himpactus.com

Chairman/President: Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
Founded/Place: February 1, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA
Publications: "Battle Scars? Wear 'Em like a Badge!" pamphlet; "Black Contract with America on Moral Values" pamphlet, book, and CD; The In-laws, Outlaws and a Functional Family, a book by Bishop Harry Jackson; Surviving and Thriving in the Midst of Crisis by Pastor Michele; The Warriors Heart, a guide through daily life as a Christian by Bishop Jackson. Co-author with George Barna of "High Impact African American Churches" (Regal Books, 2004).

Purpose

The stated goal of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC) is— according to its website— to "help educate and empower church, community, and political leaders in urban communities in the United States focus on moral value issues."

Issues

The High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC) is particularly opposed to marriage equality for same-sex couples, and promotes a biblical interpretation of marriage. "The Black Contract with America on Moral Values"— composed by Bishop Harry Jackson— lists the following policies as necessary for politicians and political parties to promote in order to "improve the plight of black America":
 

  • Family Reconstruction; protection of marriage, end abortion, black child adoption by "stable Christian families"
  • Wealth Creation; transformation of minority communities to encourage indigenous business, "prison after-care," Social Security reform, job manufacturing to lower unemployment
  • Education Reform; school choice that doesn't destabilize existing public schools, increase black education participation, lessen drop-out rates, encourage No Child Left Behind structure
  • Prison Reform; improve "3 strikes you're out" system, avoid recidivism with legislation like the Second Chance Act
  • Health Care; affordable health care for blacks, long-term health education
  • African Relief; direct funds to build infrastructure and stop the genocide in Sudan, stop U.S. companies from exploiting the Khartoum people by negotiating with it's government for fossil fuels.


 

Activities

  • The mission of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC) is to have, as it indicates on its website, people sign the "Black Contract with America on Moral Values" which is explained in the "Issues" section of this profile. HILC first and foremost focuses its energy on a strictly heterosexual definition of marriage.
  • Members of the High Impact Leadership Coalition joined Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) in a May 19, 2005, press conference in support of the stalled judicial nomination of Judge Janice Rogers Brown.
  • In August 2005, Bishop Harry Jackson spoke at the "Justice Sunday II: God Save the United States and This Honorable Court." event sponsored by Focus on the Family and Family Research Council.
  • Apart from the L.A. Conference in February of 2005, other national Contract with Black America conferences will be/have been held in Miami, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, and Washington, DC.


 

History

At a conference on February 1, 2005, a large group of black pastors met at the Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, where the Bishop Harry R. Jackson III unveiled the "Black Contract with America on Moral Values." The pastors were accompanied by, and the event was co-sponsored by, the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition— a "Christian right network of churches with close ties to the White House, RNC chair Ken Mehlman, and other senior Bush administration officials." The number one priority of the black pastors at the conference was to endorse a heterosexual, biblical interpretation of marriage on behalf of the black community.

Many critics claim that this group was formed and inspired by the GOP in an attempt to reach out to minorities on issues of homosexuality. Jasmyne Cannick, director of public relations at the Black AIDS Institute, says "When a group of black pastors decides that the number one priority for black Americans is the protection of heterosexual marriage, they're doing the GOP's dirty work."


 

Quotes

"I have been praying, preaching and talking about these issues locally for many years…our nation is in a moral crisis and the Church must lead the way to healing our nation. It is time for both righteousness and justice to reign in America and strong biblical principles must lead the way,"— Bishop Jackson, senior pastor of the nearly 3,000 member Hope Christian Church just outside Washington, DC.

"I believe that what God is doing today is calling for the black church to team with the white evangelical church and the Catholic Church and people of moral conscience. And in this season, we need to be able to tell both [political] parties, 'listen, it's our way or the highway.' We're not just going to sit back. You and I can bring the rule and reign of the Cross to America and we can change America on our watch, together." –Bishop Jackson, speaking at the Family Research Council's "Justice Sunday II" event.


Updated: April 2006

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