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Rev. Jesse Jackson released from hospital after fall at Howard University

The Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks during a news conference after the verdict was read in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on April 20 in Minneapolis. (John Minchillo/AP)
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The Rev. Jesse Jackson was released from Howard University Hospital on Tuesday after sustaining an injury from a fall at the university Monday, his spokesman said.

The 80-year-old civil rights leader visited the Washington campus this week to meet with university administrators and support students who have been protesting housing conditions, lack of representation and tuition costs.

Jackson fell and hit his head upon entering the Blackburn University Center — which students began occupying Oct. 12 — and was taken to Howard University Hospital, said Frank Watkins, a spokesman for Jackson.

Jackson, after leaving the hospital, returned to Howard to help the university resolve issues related to the student-led protests, Watkins said Tuesday afternoon. The student protest, now entering its fourth week, has drawn national attention to the historically Black campus.

“He went back to meet with President Wayne Frederick, who he met with yesterday, and the students,” Watkins said. “He indicated that they were close to resolving the issue yesterday and he’s hopeful and wants to see if they can reach a settlement."

“Thank you @huhospital and to everyone for your prayers,” Jackson tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Back to work. KeepHopeAlive!”

Jackson underwent a series of tests at the hospital, including a CT scan, which came back normal, Watkins said Tuesday morning. He was kept overnight for observation.

Students at Howard have been protesting since mid-October over student housing and representation. Frederick recently called on students who have occupied the university center and pitched tents outside to cease their demonstration, saying, “Howard University’s proud tradition of student protest has never been — and can never be — invoked as a justification for tactics that harm our students.”

In a message to the campus on Tuesday, Frederick said he is willing to sit down with protesters “as soon as the building is vacated.”

Howard president says two-week occupation of student center ‘must end’

Frederick tweeted that he and the university were “wishing Rev. Jackson a speedy recovery.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family,” he wrote.

Watkins said Jackson was in town meeting with Howard’s administration and students “to try to reconcile the issues” related to university housing. Watkins said he had not spoken with Jackson directly on Tuesday morning, but added: “I would assume that he would continue to try to bridge those differences between the students and the administration.”

Monday marked the third time this year that Jackson, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been hospitalized. After he underwent gallbladder surgery earlier this year, Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline Jackson, were hospitalized in August when they tested positive for the coronavirus.

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