Weeks after acknowledging an extramarital affair and an illegitimate child, Jackson spoke to more than 100 students and faculty members at the Duke University School of Law.
Standing in front of the crowd in a small, cramped room, Jackson discussed his opposition to President Bush's recently proposed faith-based initiative, affirmative action and his concern over the disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida on Election Day.
He took issue with Bush's faith-based plan, which he said could compromise religious organizations' missions. "(In the United States) there is a struggle of people of faith," he said. "(To say) I am full of faith, I'm full of love, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me is not true. Having faith is no substitute for equal protection under the law."
Jackson also touched on affirmative action and other social issues facing the United States.
"Most poor people are not black or brown," he said. "They are white, female and young.
"White women cannot be silenced as if affirmative action is a black cross to bear," he continued. "Affirmative action is a majority, not a minority issue."
Jackson, who was a supporter of former Vice President Al Gore in his bid for the presidency, also spoke briefly on health care. "When (the maids, janitors and cooks) get sick, they do not have health insurance," he emotionally told the audience. "They too dream; they too dream."
And Jackson expressed disagreement with Bush's push for private school vouchers.
"It is a cynical view of education with an outer layer of hope," he said. "It is contradictory to leave children behind. ... There is a high risk in leaving children behind."