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The Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded on this date in 1942. CORE is an American interracial voluntary organization to undertake direct-action projects to improve race relations and end discriminatory policies. The founding members of CORE were James L. Farmer, Jr., Bernice Fisher, George Houser, Homer A. Jack, James Russell Robinson, and Joe Guinn.
Farmer had been working as the race-relations secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation, but resigned over a dispute in policy; he founded CORE as a vehicle for the nonviolent approach to combating racial prejudice that was inspired by Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. CORE members held a sit-in at a coffee shop in Chicago in their founding year; it was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Other CORE projects have included voter registration drives in the South and actions to deal with a wide range of community issues in the North.
One of CORE's most memorable projects was the sending of "Freedom Riders" through the South in 1947 to test segregation laws and practices in interstate transportation. Later leaders have focused on Black American political and economic empowerment. Some member have tended to agree with white-American Civil Rights critics such as Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. (Then) CORE leader Roy Innis supported the nominations of Robert Bork (1987) and Clarence Thomas (1991) to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1996-98, Innis led teams that monitored elections in Nigeria. By 1999, CORE had about 100,000 members in 5 regional groups, 39 state groups, and 116 local groups. The organization maintains its headquarters in New York City.
The African American Atlas
Black History & Culture an Illustrated Reference
by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson
Macmillam USA, Simon & Schuster, New York