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Biographical Details of Leadership
Contemporary Lens on Black Leadership
Historical Focus on Race
Bobby Lee Rush
As a civil rights activist, member of the U.S. Congress since 1992, and ordained Baptist minister, Bobby Lee Rush has demonstrated leadership in many ways. During the 1960s, Rush was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a co-founded the Illinois Black Panther Party. While a Black Panther, Rush created a free breakfast program and coordinated a free medical center that brought the nation's attention to the impact of sickle cell anemia on the black community.
Rush began his political career as an alderman in the Chicago City Council, where he focused on environmental issues, gun control, and neighborhood development. In 1992, he was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he has been part of the Democratic whip organization. He is particularly committed to health issues and maintains a strong interest seeking justice for human rights violations. He serves on the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce and co-chairs the Congressional Biotech Caucus.
Rush is an honorably discharged Army veteran and an ordained minister with a Master’s Degree in Theology. In addition to serving the first district of Illinois in the House of Representatives, Rush is the pastor of the Beloved Community Christian Church of Chicago. He currently chairs the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection.