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  • Rainbow PUSH Coalition

    Reverend Jesse L. Jackson united Operation PUSH and the National Rainbow Coalition into the Rainbow PUSH Coalition during the 1980s. A multicultural, international initiative, it works for social justice, challenging human rights abuses in the political, economic and social arenas. The coalition has been responsible for leading successful voter registration drives, increasing business opportunities for minority groups, and affecting social policy in Haiti and South Africa.
  • Randolph, A. Philip

    Founder of the first African American labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925, Randolph went on to serve as a vice president of the newly merged AFL-CIO in 1955. Dissatisfied with the AFL-CIO's inaction regarding discrimination in the workplace, Randolph founded the Negro American Labor Council in 1960. Randolph also led the March on Washington in 1963 and founded an institute to study the causes of poverty.
  • Ravinia Festival

    An international three month long performing arts festival, the Chicago-based Ravinia Festival is the summer home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It also presents a diverse schedule of jazz, chamber music, dance, world music and children's shows in a pastoral, open air setting.
  • Reagan, Ronald

    The 40th President of the United States. Former actor turned president, Reagan served from 1981 to 1989. During that time, he was nearly assassinated. Under the Reagan administration, the nation rebounded from the stagnant economy of the 1970s. He also maintained a strong presence against Communist rebels around the globe.
  • Regal Theatre

    Famed entertainment venue on Chicago’s South Side. It once featured performances by such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. After falling into disrepair the theater has recently been remodeled and named the New Regal Theatre, under the direction of Edward Gardner.
  • Rhode Island

    The thirteenth state to ratify the Constitution, Rhode Island was founded by individuals who faced religious persecution in other colonies. Rhode Island is the smallest of the fifty States.
  • Rhythm and Blues

    Coined in 1947 by Billboard editor Jerry Wexler, the term rhythm and blues refers to the sophisticated urban music that became popular, especially among African Americans, in the 1940s. Characterized by harmonious lyrics and upbeat rhythms, R and B synthesized mainstream jazz styles with traditional blues forms.
  • Riperton, Minnie

    Born November 8, 1947, vocalist Minnie Riperton began her recording career with the Gems on Chess Studios. Although Riperton was classically trained, she was drawn to the expressive freedom of rock n roll. Her experimental style as lead vocalist for the progressive Rotary Connection caught the attention of music industry elites, and she began working as a backup vocal artist for Quincy Jones, Roberta Flack, Freddie Hubbard, and Etta James. Riperton’s career skyrocketed in the mid 1970s with the albums “Perfect Angel” and “Adventures in Paradise.” Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976, Riperton began an aggressive awareness campaign. Her numerous appearances focused national attention on this life threatening disease. Riperton’s last album, simply titled “Minnie,” was recorded less than one year before her death in 1979. She was 32 years old.
  • Robeson, Paul

    Stage actor, singer, and political activist. Robeson’s deep bass and commanding stage presence impressed audiences worldwide. He received critical acclaim for performances in The Emperor Jones, Showboat, and Othello as well as for his renditions of black spirituals. By the early 1940s, Robeson’s activism on behalf of racial justice, social progress, and international peace caught the attention of the U.S. government. Political attacks against his progressive ideology culminated in his blacklisting during the McCarthy Era and the canceling of his passport. Robeson spent most of the next thirteen years living in Russia and London, returning to the United States in 1963. Serious health problems ended his career and he died in 1976.
  • Robinson, Jackie

    The first African American baseball player to play in the Major Leagues since its official segregation at the beginning of the century, Jackie Robinson courageously braved verbal and physical assaults while playing second base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. After breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1946, he went on to a stellar career and paved the way for thousands of black athletes in professional sports. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
  • Robinson, Smokey

    Songwriter and producer. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Robinson was the lead singer for The Miracles, and he wrote and arranged for young artists on the Tamla Motown record label. In 1961, he became vice president of the company. His hit singles include "Shop Around" and "Tears of a Clown." In 1991, he received the Heritage Award for outstanding career achievements in music and entertainment.
  • Roosevelt University

    An urban university friendly to Chicago’s black and ethnic communities. It was founded in 1945.
  • Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

    The 32nd President of the United States. Roosevelt is the longest serving president, having served from 1933 until his death in 1945.
  • Roosevelt, Theodore

    The twenty-sixth President of the United States. Serving two terms from 1901 to 1909, Roosevelt ensured the creation of the Panama Canal, won a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War and helped create the Nation Park System.
  • Ross, Diana

    Legendary R&B and Motown singer, Diana Ross got her start as the lead vocalist of the Motown sensation the Supremes, a group that sold more albums than any other American act during the 1960s. After a string of hits with the Supremes, Ross left the group in 1970 to pursue a solo career. As a soloist, she is one of the top-selling female vocalists of all time.
  • Roundabout Theatre Company

    Founded in 1965 by Gene Feist and his wife, actress Elizabeth Owens, the Roundabout Theatre Company is a non-profit subscription based theatre company in New York City that has put on many plays for over forty years. The theatre's productions have been nominated for more than seventy awards including Tony and Olivier Awards.