SEATTLE – The Rev. Jesse Jackson called for more peaceful protests against the Ferguson police shooting but said the real agenda for civil rights in Seattle is increasing minorities employed by high-tech companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo and Amazon.com.
Jackson visited the TAF Academy in Kent on Monday to highlight training needed to boost high-tech jobs for women and minorities.
The civil rights leader spoke about racially charged killings and led an assembly of students and teachers in a chorus call and response of “Hands Up. Don’t Shoot” as everyone raised their hands.
Jackson is visiting Seattle after stops in California and Portland, Oregon, to focus on minority employment in the technology industry.
He spoke Sunday at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle about addressing root issues that give rise to racial and economic disparities, the seattlepi.com reported (http://bit.ly/1vbXtUn).
“We do not have a technology deficit, we have an opportunity deficit,” Jackson said.
Earlier in the day at Emmanuel Temple in Portland, Oregon, he criticized the grand jury that decided not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting last August of Michael Brown.
In Seattle, Jackson urged protesters to remain non-violent.
“Violence is a diversion from our real agenda,” he said.
Jackson was set to speak Tuesday about the issue at the University of Washington. He’s also attending a conference at Microsoft in Redmond on improving education for all students in science, technology, engineering and math.
On Wednesday, Jackson said, he will attend the Microsoft shareholders meeting in Bellevue as a shareholder.
AP photographer Ted Warren contributed to this story.