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Officers and Board Members

Courtland CoxPresident: Courtland Cox, Washington, DC
While a Howard University student, Courtland Cox became a member of NAG and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He worked with SNCC in Mississippi and Lowndes County, Alabama, was the Program Secretary for SNCC in 1962, and was the SNCC representative to the War Crimes Tribunal organized by Bertram Russell. In 1963 he served as the SNCC representative on the Steering Committee for the March on Washington. In 1973 Mr. Cox served as the Secretary General of the Sixth Pan-African Congress and international meeting of African people in Tanzania. He co-owned and managed the Drum and Spear bookstore and Drum and Spear Press. Cox is presently a Consultant with the D.C. Public Schools. Cox was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the Department of Commerce, a position he held until January 20, 2001.

 

 

Julian BondVice President: Julian Bond, Washington, DC
SNCC Communications Director 1961-1966. As a Morehouse student Bond attended the SNCC founding conference at Shaw in April 1960. Bond was elected to both houses of the Georgia Legislature, where he served a total of twenty years. He is past chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He is also a professor of history at both the University of Virginia, and The American University.

 

 

 

 

 

Karen SpellmanSecretary: Karen Spellman, Washington, DC
Karen Spellman is a special events producer who formed her company in 1984 specializing in large-scaled cultural and social justice programs. She is a graduate of Howard University and received her master’s in city planning from Georgia Tech. Her work in the civil rights movement began as a high school student in the Greensboro, NC NAACP youth chapter where she participated in sit-ins for public accommodations. In 1963, she began her work with SNCC as a Howard University student organizer working with the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG) and the DC SNCC office. In 1966 she became a full time SNCC worker in Atlanta, Georgia as the SNCC Research Director at the national office, and provided materials and publications for the SNCC Newsletter, created “The Panther’s Claw” newsletter for the Lowndes County Freedom Organization and produced the Aframerican News Service that provided feature articles documenting the work of SNCC to the national black press.

Larry RubinTreasurer: Larry Rubin, Takoma Park, MD.
Larry Rubin was a SNCC field secretary off and on between 1961 and 1965, first in SW Georgia and then in northern Mississippi. After SNCC, he went to Kentucky with an assignment from the Southern Conference Educational Fund. Aside from stints with the Philadelphia Urban Coalition, the National Jewish Committee Relations Advisory Council and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, for 45 years Larry has worked in the labor movement as an organizer, media and public relations specialist, speechwriter, publications editor and political advocate. He was also a reporter for the Dayton Daily News, a speechwriter for the U.S. Department of Education, and served four terms on the Takoma Park, Maryland City Council. He is the Communications Director and DC-area Political Director for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, an affiliate of the Carpenters union.

 

 

Members of the Board:

Jamil Al-AminJamil Al-Amin, Ex-Officio, Waymart, Pennsylvania
SNCC Chair 1967-1968.

 

 

 

 

 

Geri AugustoGeri Augusto, Providence, RI
Geri Augusto grew up in a household in Dayton, Ohio that was “Friends of SNCC”. While a student at Howard University, she joined the Center for Black Education, co-editing its radio program, SAUTI, and the Pan African Bulletin, and working at Drum & Spear Bookstore in Washington, D.C.. She later worked as the Information Officer for the 6th Pan African Congress in Dar es Salaam, in 1973-74, and stayed on afterwards to become an English editor at the Tanzania Publishing House. From 1979-91, she lived in Angola, where she worked with the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference (now SADC), the Angolan ministries of Energy and Agriculture, and as a Portuguese/English interpreter for a variety of ministerial, Frontline states, and UN meetings in Southern Africa and Europe. Currently she is a Watson Fellow of International Studies and also teaches public policy at Brown University. In Brazil, she is part of a project team setting up a new Leadership Institute for black and women's social movements in the Northeast, in Salvador da Bahia. In South Africa, she is on the Pan African Advisory Council for Freedom Park, and is an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town's Centre for African Studies. She previously taught at Harvard Kennedy School, from 1994 to 2002, and holds a BA in economics (Howard), MPA (Kennedy School, Harvard) and EdD, human and organizational learning (GWU Graduate School of Education).

Charles CobbCharles Cobb, Jacksonville, FL
Charles E. Cobb JR., is senior analyst for allAfrica.com, the world's largest electronic provider of news and information from Africa. He is also a visiting professor at Brown University where he conducts an undergraduate seminar titled The Organizing Tradition of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. He was a SNCC field secretary in Mississippi from 1962-67. Cobb’s latest book is On the Road to Freedom, a Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail. With civil rights organizer and educator Robert P. Moses he co-authored Radical Equations, Civil Rights From Mississippi to the Algebra Project. He is also a co-editor of No Easy Victories, American Activists and African Liberation over a Half Century. A founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Cobb began his journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for WHUR Radio in Washington, DC. In 1976 he joined the staff of National Public Radio as a foreign affairs reporter. From 1985-1997 Cobb was a member of the Editorial Staff of National Geographic magazine. In July 2008, Cobb was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Connie CurryConnie Curry, Atlanta, GA
Constance Curry is a writer, activist, and a fellow at the Institute for Women's Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of several books, including Silver Rights, which tells the true story of Mrs. Mae Bertha Carter and her family's struggle for education in Sunflower County, Mississippi; and Mississippi Harmony with Ms. Winson Hudson, which tells the life story of Mrs. Winson a civil rights leader from Leake County, Miss., who also challenged segregation in the 1960s. Curry also collaborated in and edited Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement (University of Georgia Press, 2000) and the book Aaron Henry: the Fire Ever Burning (University Press of Mississippi, 2000). Curry attended the April 1960 Shaw Conference representing the National Student Association.

 

 

Ivanhoe DonaldsonIvanhoe Donaldson, Washington, DC
Ivanhoe Donaldson was an active member of SNCC and is now a businessman and political consultant. Donaldson worked for SNCC as an organizer and held leadership positions within the organization. In 1960-62, as a SNCC field secretary, Donaldson collected food in Michigan and Kentucky and brought it to Mississippi to help sharecroppers and tenant farmers who had been kicked off of their land for attempting to register to vote. In 1963 he was active in demonstrations in Danville, Virginia, and later during "Freedom Summer" in Mississippi in 1964. After the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) began planning a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965, Donaldson became one of the SNCC organizers in Selma. Ivanhoe and Hosea Williams of SCLC were co-coordinators of the Selma-Montgomery March in 1965. In 1968, Donaldson helped found Afro-American Resources, Inc., which ran the Drum and Spear Bookstore, Drum and Spear Press, and the Center for Black Education in Washington, D.C. He was also a visiting lecturer for Afro-American courses at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1970. Donaldson advised and worked for Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry for many years.

 

Bruce HartfordBruce Hartford, San Francisco, CA
For two years (1963-1964) Bruce Hartford was a full-time activist in the L.A. Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Non-Violent Action Committee (N-VAC). In 1965 he became a field secretary for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Alabama and Mississippi. He worked on the Selma voting rights campaign and the March to Montgomery, and was later project director for Crenshaw County Alabama voter registration. In the summer of 1966 he participated in the Meredith March Against Fear in Mississippi, and until 1967 he was part of the SCLC field staff in Grenada Mississippi during the long and bloody struggle to end segregation and win voter registration. For the past 30 years he has worked as a technical writer in the Silicon Valley computer industry. He was a founding member and officer (now retired) of the National WRiters Union (NWU). Since 1999 he has been a member of Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement and webspinner for the Civil Rights Movement Veterans website (http://crmvet.org) that documents the Southern Freedom Movement in the words of those who lived it. Bruce is the author of "The Selma Voting Rights Struggle and March to Montgomery" (2014).

Joyce LadnerJoyce Ladner, Washington, DC
A highly respected sociologist, Dr. Ladner grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi during the era of racial segregation. During her years of activism in the early sixties, she worked with civil rights martyrs Medgar Evers, Vernon Dahmer, Clyde Kennard and two of the three civil rights workers who were murdered in 1964, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner. Even though she was in college, she failed the voter registration literacy test and did not get registered until a federal court order was granted. Dr. Ladner received her B.A. degree from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi and while there, she was arrested for trying to worship at the all-white Galloway Methodist Church. She spent a week in jail. She continued her education and received her PhD in sociology at Washington University. She was the first woman president of Howard University from 1994 to 1995, where she also served as professor of sociology from 1981 to 1998. She has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University, St. Louis, and honorary doctorates from Howard University and Tougaloo College. She was a senior fellow in at The Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, D.C. until her retirement in 2003. She was also a member of the United States Department of Justice's Advisory Council on Violence Against Women and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. When the city of Washington, DC went broke in 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the five member District of Columbia Financial Control Board (1995-98) whose job was to balance the city‘s budget. Dr. Ladner has authored, co-authored and edited eight books.

John LewisRep. John Lewis, Ex-Officio, Atlanta, GA
John Lewis was SNCC Chair from 1963-1966. He was a Freedom Rider in 1961. A native of Alabama, he spoke at the August 1963 March on Washington. In 1964, John Lewis coordinated SNCC efforts to organize voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. The following year, Lewis led over 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. The marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers in a brutal confrontation that became known as "Bloody Sunday." . After leaving SNCC in 1966, he continued his commitment to the Civil Rights Movement as Associate Director of the Field Foundation and his participation in the Southern Regional Council's voter registration programs. Lewis went on to become the Director of the Voter Education Project (VEP). Under his leadership, the VEP transformed the nation's political climate by adding nearly four million minorities to the voter rolls. In 1977, John Lewis was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to direct more than 250,000 volunteers of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency. In 1981, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council. While serving on the Council, he was an advocate for ethics in government and neighborhood preservation. He was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since then. John Lewis authored his biography with writer Michael D'Orso, entitled Walking With The Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (June, 1998). In 2006, two other books were written about his life: Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement, by Ann Bausum and John Lewis in the Lead, by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson, with illustrations by famous Georgia artist, Bennie Andrews.

Chuck McDewChuck McDew, Ex-Officio, W. St. Paul, MN
Retired history professor. Charles McDew led his first demonstration in the eighth grade, to protest violations of the religious freedom of Amish students in his hometown of Massillon, Ohio. McDew’s career as an activist expanded in scope while he was a freshman at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Inevitably involved in the newborn sit-in movement, he was elected as student leader by his fellow demonstrators. McDew attended the founding conference at Shaw in April 1960 while a student at South Carolina State and a member of The Orangeburg Movement for Civil Improvement. He served as the second Chairman of SNCC, 1960-1963. McDew has been active in organizations for social and political change, working as a teacher and as a labor organizer, managing anti-poverty programs in Washington, D.C., serving as community organizer and catalyst for change in Boston and San Francisco, as well as other communities. He has appeared on countless radio and television programs as a speaker against racism. McDew recently retired from Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis, MN, where his classes in the history of the civil rights movement, African-American history, and in social and cultural awareness were always oversubscribed.

 

Robert P. MosesRobert P. Moses, Cambridge, MA
Robert Moses was a SNCC field secretary and director of the SNCC's 1964 Mississippi Summer Project. He was instrumental in the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, a group that challenged the regular Democratic Party delegates from the state at the party's 1964 convention. Moses later moved to Eastern Africa. From 1969-1975, Moses worked as a teacher in Tanzania. In 1976 he returned to Harvard and did further graduate work in philosophy, after which he taught high school math in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1982 he received a MacArthur Fellowship, and used the money to create the Algebra Project, a foundation devoted to improving minority education in math. Moses taught math for a time at Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi, and used the school as a laboratory school for Algebra Project methods. He is the author of Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. 

 


Maisha MosesMaisha Moses, Cambridge, MA

is National Director of Instruction for the Young People’s Project.

 

 

 


Cynthia PalmerCynthia Palmer, Jackson, MS
serves as executive director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Veterans organization, and as a Mississippi Operations Director for the Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary Reunion in Jackson, MS. She is also affiliated with the Margaret Walker National Research Center at Jackson State University.

 

 

 

 


Bernice Johnson ReagonBernice Johnson Reagon, Washington, DC

Born in Dougherty County, GA, outside of Albany, Reagon counts her participation in the Civil Rights Movement while a college student at Albany State College (from which she was expelled after participating in a demonstration for which she and others participating were jailed) as a transformative rebirthing. She was a member of the original SNCC Freedom Singers formed in 1962 by SNCC field secretary Cordell H. Reagon, and in 1966, a founding member of the Atlanta-based Harambee Singers. Song and singing has remained a constant in her life. In 1973 while a graduate student of history at Howard University and vocal director of the DC Black Repertory Theater, she formed the internationally renowned African American women’s a cappela ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock. She led the group until retirement early 2004. She is Professor Emeritus of History at American University, Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and served as the 2002-2004 Cosby Chair of Fine Arts at Spelman College (her alma mater) in Atlanta, GA. Two of her major works are seminal to the study of this tradition: Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions and Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery. Reagon served as principal scholar, conceptual producer, host for Peabody Award-winning, Wade in the Water, the 26 show series produced by National Public Radio and Smithsonian Institution (premier broadcast 1984). She was the score composer for the Peabody Award-winning film series produced by WGBH TV, Africans in America (broadcast in a PBS documentary film series in 1998). 


Judy RichardsonJudy Richardson, Silver Spring, MD
was on SNCC staff from 1963 to 1966 in Cambridge, MD, in the national office in Atlanta, in Greenwood, MS during 1964 Freedom Summer, in Southwest Georgia, and in Lowndes County, Ala. As a documentary producer she worked on the fourteen-hour PBS series Eyes on the Prize, the film for the Little Rock Nine historic site, and most recently PBS’s Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre, 1968. She has worked for numerous social justice organizations and writes, lectures, and conducts teacher workshops on the civil rights movement. She is a co-editor of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC.

 

 

Administrators:

Kimberly JohnsonKimberly Johnson, Naperville, IL
Kimberly worked with the SNCC Planning Committee in the planning and production of the SNCC 50th Anniversary Conference. Since then, she has assisted the SNCC Legacy Project in the planning and implementation of the organization by providing administrative assistance and webinar facilitation. She is the author of “The Start of Something BIG: Your Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dynamic Business Plan.” Previous experience includes serving as webinar consultant for the Washington Development Industry Council (WDIC) contracted to plan, organize, develop content, market and facilitate web-based seminars. As Expert Consultant to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, she was contracted to provide content in the form of articles on business development principles and current business information on MBDA’s web portal. She has developed, directed and disseminated all internal and external communications for the Workforce Development, Inc. of Northern Cook County. In addition she has developed and institutionalized corporate-wide strategies to meet disadvantaged (DBE), minority (MBE), women (WBE) and disabled veteran (DVBE) business enterprise participation goals for Fortune 500 telecommunications, construction, and various other industries.


Communications:

Sharlene KranzSharlene Kranz, Washington, DC
Website. Retired Legislative Counsel. While in high school she was a member of NAG, and later worked in MFDP and DC SNCC Offices, in the New York SNCC Office, and at the MFDP Challenge in Atlantic City in 1964. Kranz has worked on Capitol Hill for two Members of Congress, for the National Welfare Rights Organization, for the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and for the Council of the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of an HBCU law school.