Living History From One Generation to the Next with the SNCC Legacy Project

A historical photo of a SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) demonstration at the Cairo pool. USA. Cairo, Illinois. 1962. Photo: Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos
A historical photo of a SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) demonstration at the Cairo pool. USA. Cairo, Illinois. 1962. Photo: Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

Reposted with the Permission of the Mellon Foundation

Location: Durham, North Carolina, United States
Grantmaking area: Public Knowledge
Author: Alletta Cooper
Date: October 02, 2023
Photography research: Maggie Birkmeyer

Election night 2020 at The New Georgia Project’s Atlanta election night war room was tense and exciting.

The outcome of the presidential election would remain undeclared for several days, but Nsé Ufot, then head of the project, was confident that Georgia’s Black voters would not only help elect Joe Biden, but also put Georgia’s first Black senator, Raphael Warnock, in office.

Ufot was confident in part because her team had used methods they’d learned from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)—knocking on doors, building relationships, mobilizing community members in real time—to turn out the Black vote. She had SNCC veterans on speed dial all night.

Through these relationships, says Ufot, “I had access to deep insights about strategy and what are the evergreen lessons from the sixties.” She also says that the digital tools available through the SNCC Digital Gateway gave her “a front-row seat to how it’s being applied in today’s fast-paced world of justice campaigning.”

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