Things you may not know about the Congress of Racial Equality
CORE was founded by a group of students on the Campus of the University of Chicago.
Many of the founders of CORE where followers of the Ghandian principles of non-violent civil disobedience and belonged to an organization called F.O.R. (Fellowship of Reconciliation).
CORE was first known as the Committee on Racial Equality.
Bayard Rustin was one of the original leaders of CORE.
CORE moved its main offices and headquarters to New York City in the late 50’s. The office was located on Park Row directly opposite New York's City Hall.
CORE's 1st National Director, James Farmer, served as Under-Secretary of Labor for President Richard Nixon. He later ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican in Brooklyn, NY against Shirley Chisolm.
James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, the three young civil rights workers who were murdered by the KKK in 1964 in Philadelphia, Mississippi were members of CORE on assignment to the Freedom Summer Voter Registration project. Their murders were the subject of the hit movie ‘Mississippi Burning.’
CORE's 2nd National Director Floyd McKissick left in 1968 to organize a pilot program in Black Economic Development in North Carolina called ‘Soul City.’
For a brief period in 1968, Wilfred Ussery, a relatively unknown activist from California, served as Chairman of CORE.
Before taking over as the National Director of CORE, Roy Innis, founded the Harlem Commonwealth Council (HCC) and served as its first Executive Director. HCC still exists today as a major funding vehicle and source for many successful economic development projects in Harlem and other African American Communities.
CORE was the first civil rights organization in this country to have been awarded a special non-governmental consultative status (NGO) at the United Nations. CORE is currently assigned to two of the United Nations' most prestigious departments: (1) the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI), and (2) United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO).
CORE Chairman, Roy Innis, was the first African American to attend the O.A.U. (Organization of African Unity) conference as a delegate. Prior to that, attendees from places other than Africa had only been granted ‘observer’ status.
In 1968 CORE became the first Black Organization in U.S. History to draft a bill that was introduced into Congress. The Community Self-Determination Bill that was drafted by CORE Chairman Roy Innis, garnered bipartisan sponsorship of one-third of the Senate and over 50 Congressmen.
CORE was one of only 9 organizations nationwide chosen by the Department of Justice to coordinate the implementation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA-1986).
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, CORE was one of a hand-full of non- governmental agencies invited to serve in an official capacity at the Disaster Assistance Service Center (DASC) established by FEMA and the NYC to help victims of the World Trade Center collapse.