NYC CORE college chapters
CORE’s NYC college chapters functioned primarily as support units for the adult chapters, especially the borough chapters (Bronx CORE, New York CORE, etc.). They provided troops for picketing, demonstrations, petitions, fund raising, collecting resources for work in Mississippi and the south. The college chapters were also good for getting other college students, even if they were not members, involved in CORE projects. This would have been especially important for the larger city wide projects such as the World’s Fair or various summer of 1963 demonstrations.
The college chapters also served a social function in that they provided
a space and the opportunity for students to get along with people of
other races/ethnicities. These colleges at the time are essentially White schools.
contact with people of other races is often seen as a positive first step
in dealing with racial discrimination.
The first college chapter in NYC was at the City College of New York, CCNY CORE. By
1949, it had eighteen members and was chaired by Al Ettinger. Other
officers included Robin Roe, Olive Roach, Earl Benjamin and Sidney Seifer.
Most of its officers had some experience in New York CORE.
Carl Holmes, who participated in New York CORE’s Palisades Park campaign,
became CCNY CORE chair by the end of the year. Other officers included
Jaqueline Bagwell, Frank Heymann, Herbert Johnson, Robert Roe and Richard
Not until the fall of 1960 does a CCNY CORE seem to be up and running. Bob Atkins was listed as chair. Other officers included Louis Montag, Alan Gewertemay, Ann Minnerap.
By the time Terry Perlman, a Freedom Rider who served prison time in Mississippi, became chair, it was relatively busy. Because CCNY CORE was limited by funds, though it mostly concerned itself with projects undertaken by CORE and other chapters.
It participated in Brooklyn CORE’s campaign against Ebinger’s Bakery and worked with New York CORE on housing issues in Harlem. It took part in CORE’s demonstrations against Sealtest, both the Republican and Democratic parties, the Route 40 freedom rides and worked with LIU CORE on the Freedom Highways campaign.
The group was relatively small, ranging anywhere from 11-23 active members, mostly White with at least one or two Black members. There was at least one Chinese member, Moon Eng. Besides being one of the few Asians in CORE, he is also note worthy for becoming a field secretary and being married to one of the original thirteen Freedom Riders - Jean Thompson of New Orleans CORE.
Other officers included Stu Wechsler, Natalie Genin, Helen Morton, Marshall Harth, Elen Brodsky, Ken Suslak, Peggy Goodwin, Bob Nelson, Judy Weinstein, Bruce Cutler, Larry Freda, John Miller, Paul Gilbert, (Ms.) Jessie Robert, Laura Bilander, Fred Newdon.