"Making Equality A Reality"



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What is CORE?







Did You Know?


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 50s. 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, unsucessfully, 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 exist 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 to be awarded special non-voting, consultative status at the United Nations (NGO)


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.


C O R E is the acronym for the Congress Of Racial Equality.

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           Founded in 1942, CORE is the third oldest and one of the "Big Four" civil rights groups in the United States. From the protests against "Jim Crow" laws of the 40's through the "Sit-ins" of the 50's, the "Freedom Rides" of the 60's, the cries for "Self-Determination" in the 70's, "Equal Opportunity" in the 80's, community development in the 90's, to the current demand for equal access to information, CORE has championed true equality. As the "shock troops" and pioneers of the civil rights movement, CORE has paved the way for the nation to follow.  


          Under the banner of "TRUTH!  LOGIC!  &  COURAGE!", CORE continues to promote harmony and healing in all aspects of society; calling the shots straight--even when it hurts--and confronting the haters, race baiters and racial racketeers bent on keeping us apart.


          CORE's National Headquarters is located in New York City. From there a network of local affiliates and chapters radiate across the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Central and South America.


          Membership in CORE is open to anyone who believes that "all people are created equal" and is willing to work towards the ultimate goal of true equality throughout the world.


CORE's Status:


          The Congress of Racial Equality is officially classified as a philanthropic omnibus human rights organization. The parent organization, Congress of Racial Equality, Inc. (CORE, Inc.) is a not-for-profit corporation in good standing with the State of New York.  Its flagship chapter--NY CORE--serves as host for the national organization and  enjoys a 501(C)3 status with the Internal Revenue Service. Contributions to CORE are tax deductible as allowed by law.  CORE, Inc. is a 501(C)4 organization under the guidelines of the Federal Government.


          In addition to the traditional classifications shared by most philanthropic groups, 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's is currently assign to two of the United Nations' most prestigious departments-- the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO).


CORE's Mission:


         CORE seeks to establish, in practice, the inalienable right for all people to determine their own destiny--to decide for themselves what social and political organizations can operate in their best interest and to do so without gratuitous and inhibiting influence from those whose interest is diametrically opposed to theirs.  CORE feels that the most important fundamental freedom for all people is the right to govern themselves.  Once this simple ideal is realized, other necessary freedoms will automatically follow.


         In essence, CORE's aim is to bring about equality for all people regardless of race, creed, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background. In pursuing its aim, CORE seeks to identify and expose acts of discrimination in the public and private sectors of society. When such an act is uncovered, CORE, with its many multi-service departments, goes into action.


CORE Today:


         CORE has established an impeccable record of finding solutions to the most difficult problems facing minorities; formulating the most pragmatic positions on important civil rights issues; instituting the most successful actions to bring about non-violent social, political and economic change for the underprivileged and, leading America down a path of equal opportunity for all of its citizens.


          To many we have served as a buffer between them and a life of welfare, joblessness and dependency.  To others we have been the last hope in a never-ending struggle against tragedy, depression and hopelessness.  We are the light at the end of a long dark tunnel.


          To that end CORE has declared equal access to information, technology and healthcare it's new civil rights focus for the 21st Century.  Recognizing that the civil rights revolution in America was a tremendous victory for all decent thinking people, CORE now sees the need to prepare minorities so they may better maximize the many opportunities that are now available to them.


           In describing CORE today and its overall role in America, it would be fair to say "THE BUCK STOPS HERE." Our Commitment and love for our community has made us the advocates of last resort and a voice for the silent majority--the decent people in our country.  With your support we have become one of the largest, most active and most successful grassroots organization in America's history.


          With your continued support, CORE will continue to be the beacon of hope for all people who seek to enjoy the fullness and satisfaction offered by the "American Dream."  CORE is working to make:





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CORE -- Congress of Racial Equality  *  P.O. Box 264  *  New York, N.Y.  *  10276  *  Tel: (212) 598-4000  *  Fax: (212) 982-0184


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