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Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive:

Acronyms of Organizations Associated with the
Civil Rights Movement

Pete Seeger and a Freedom School class in 1964

ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union

ADA: Americans for Democratic Action

ADL: Anti-Defamation League

AFJCC: American Forum for Jewish Christian Cooperation

AFL-CIO: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

ASCS: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service

CDGM: Child Development Group of Mississippi

COFO: Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)

COI: Coahoma Opportunities, Inc.

CORE: Congress on Racial Equality

ECR: Ecumenical Center for Renewal

FBI: United States Federal Bureau of Investigation

FCC: Federal Communications Commission

FDP: Freedom Democratic Party

FIS: Freedom Information Service

GROW: Grass Roots Organizing Work

HEW: Health, Education, and Welfare

KKK: Ku Klux Klan

LEAC: Legal Education Advisory Committee

MCHR: Medical Committee for Human Rights

MEA: Mississippi Education Association

MFDP: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

MFLU: Mississippi Freedom Labor Union

MSU: Mississippi Student Union

NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NCCC: National Council of the Churches of Christ

NCFEM: National Committee for Free Elections in Mississippi

NCNP: National Conference for New Politics

OEO: Washington Office of Economic Opportunity

SCEF: Southern Conference Educational Fund

SCLC: Southern Christian Leadership Conference

SDS: Students for a Democratic Society

SERA: Southern Education Recreation Association

SNCC: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)

SRC: Southern Regional Council

SSOC: Southern Students Organizing Committee

UAHC: Union of American Hebrew Congregations

UMC: University Medical Center, University of Mississippi

WFP: White Folks Project


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ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union is a non-profit organization founded in 1920. This nonpartisan organization’s goal is to protect the rights that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights give to all citizens of the United States. They stress that these rights are guaranteed to all citizens irrespective of race, religion, gender, status, or sexual preference. Throughout the 1960s the ACLU attached itself to the goals of the Civil Rights movement in support of racial equality and the defense of the first amendment rights to free speech and assembly.
For further reference see: http://www.aclu.org/


ADA: Americans for Democratic Action

Americans for Democratic Action was established to promote progressive values in United States politics. The ADA vice-president and founder, Hubert Humphrey, was considered a key instigator in the Civil Rights Movement. He lead the thrust to emphasize Civil Rights issues in the platform of the National Democratic Party. His campaign forever redirected the Democratic Party and United States politics.
For further reference see: http://www.adaction.org/


ADL: Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League is a large organization founded to defend the Jewish community from discrimination. It has since expanded its scope to include protection of all people from discrimination. The ADL took and an active role in the Civil Rights Movement by exposing the actions of the Ku Klux Klan to the public and proposing strategies to deal with such problems.
For further reference see: http://www.adl.org/


AFJCC: American Forum for Jewish Christian Cooperation

Rabbi Ben-Ami founded The American Forum for Jewish Christian Cooperation, in 1980, to create a dialogue between the Jewish and Christian faiths. The AFJCC is committed to building common ground for Jews and Christians by promoting dialogue and education. The organization was still active as of 2003.


AFL-CIO: The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is the product of a merger of national and international labor unions. Their objective is to promote and secure protection against job discrimination of labor union members. Since Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act combating discrimination of all American workers regardless of age, race, or religion, the AFL-CIO has monitored the efforts of both Congress and the President's funding of the nation's civil rights agencies that are charged with the enforcement of the Civil Rights Act.
For further reference see: http://www.aflcio.org/


ASCS: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service

The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service was an all-Caucasian board of men who determined the volume of crops grown and who could grow them. They also defined price subsidies for crops, thereby ensuring the farmers a set income for their yield. Agricultural pursuits heavily dictated the economic stability of rural areas in the South. Later the federal government mandated that members of the ASCS board be elected democratically. Every cotton grower had a vote. Consequentially, African-American farmers were given the opportunity to vote even if they could not read or write, as opposed to in federal government elections in which they had to prove their literacy. The ASCS and other agricultural agencies merged in 1994 to form the Farm Service Agency.


CDGM: Child Development Group of Mississippi

The Child Development Group of Mississippi was started by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee with funds acquired through the Office of Economic Opportunity. The CDGM headquarters in Mount Beulah, Mississippi, fostered eighty-four Head Start programs and employed hundreds of underprivileged African-Americans in the process. These programs not only provided health and educational opportunities for youngsters and employment opportunities for adults, but also facilitated their associates' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement through their association with other agencies. There are no longer indications that this group is still in existence.


COFO: Council of Federated Organizations (U.S.)

This umbrella organization combined various Mississippi civil rights groups to work toward a unified objective. It was initially comprised of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and The Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in 1962. COFO organized Mississippi Freedom Summer and the Freedom Vote programs that were instrumental in promoting education and voter registration in the African-American community. The organization disbanded in 1965.
For further reference see: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/


COI: Coahoma Opportunities, Inc.

Coahoma Opportunities, Inc. began as a subsidiary project of Southern Education Recreation Association (SERA) in the 1960s. Bennie Gooden directed this project with the goals of improving community services and social conditions for African-Americans and low-income residents. They launched outreach programs, youth activities, neighborhood centers and early childhood development programs. This organization is still active.


CORE: Congress on Racial Equality

The Congress on Racial Equality was founded in 1942 to promote equality in every aspect of society. Its members take action against racial and social injustices. CORE was very active in the Civil Rights Movement. CORE's national headquarters is in New York.
For further reference see: http://www.core-online.org/


ECR: Ecumenical Center for Renewal

The Ecumenical Center for Renewal joined many churches to demand change in the social structures that dehumanize minority groups. This combined effort of Christian groups planned, staffed, financed, and implemented a two year project to improve race relations in the South. The ERC also rebuilt African-American churches, organized interracial dialogues, combated neighborhood poverty, and focused media attention on racial violence. There is no longer evidence to suggest that this organization is still in existence.


FBI: United States Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was established in 1908 to provide the federal government with a structure for investigating allegations of gross injustices of the federal law. During the Civil Rights Movement, FBI agents pursued information on civil rights violations by local authorities and citizens. Individual citizens and groups devoted to racial segregation committed many violent crimes to show defiance of federal civil rights laws. The Federal Bureau of Investigation worked with "state and municipal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and special interest/minority groups to improve reporting of civil rights violations and to design proactive strategies for identifying and mitigating systemic police brutality" (FBI History. http://www.fbi.gov/fbihistory.htm: Accessed December 2005).
For further reference see: http://www.fbi.gov/fbihistory.htm


FCC: Federal Communications Commission

Throughout the 1960s, African-Americans were seldom represented in the media. When African-Americans and other ethnicities were portrayed, it was usually done from a Caucasian perspective filled with inaccurate and stereotypic assumptions. The media circuits did little to educate the nation about the conditions and treatment of African-Americans in the South, and African-Americans had no control or influence over communication outlets. Reverend Everett C. Parker, the head of the United Church of Christ, challenged the FCC on this matter. He felt it was unfair for The White Citizens Council to monopolize the airtime with their opinions, while African-Americans (who made up 45% of the viewing audience) were denied participation and access by the FCC. Reverend Parker challenged the FCC in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and won on the grounds that biased programming was not in either the African-American or Caucasian viewers’ best interest.
For further reference see: http://www.fcc.gov/aboutus.html


FDP: Freedom Democratic Party

See Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party


FIS: Freedom Information Service

There is no further information available at this time.


GROW: Grass Roots Organizing Work

The Grass Roots Organizing Work program was developed by the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) to promote cooperation between African-American and Caucasian workers. Bob and Dottie Zellner were the original organizers of this group. There is no evidence to suggest that this group still exists.


HEW: Health, Education, and Welfare

The Health, Education, and Welfare Department is the agency of the federal government that was responsible for desegregating U.S. school systems after the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. In 1979, HEW became the Department of Health and Human Services.


KKK: Ku Klux Klan

A secret society formed to gain control over social and political movements in the United States. Their main goal was protecting white supremacy. The KKK has used terror tactics such as parading around at night on horseback wearing white robes and masks to instill panic within those they target. The KKK was prominent during the Reconstruction Period and again after World War I, but their endeavors were particularly heightened during the Civil Rights era. During the Civil Rights Movement they also tortured their adversaries with beatings, hangings, and threats in hopes of keeping African-Americans in the position of second-class citizens. The KKK is organizationally defunct today having no centralized membership.


LEAC: Legal Education Advisory Committee

There is no further information available at this time.


MCHR: Medical Committee for Human Rights

The Medical Committee for Human Rights was established in July 1964 at the urgent request of civil rights workers who were continually rejected by health care facilities and professionals during heightened violence of the Civil Rights Movement in the South. The committee was comprised of a dedicated network of health care professionals from Northern states. Many of them put themselves in harm’s way and worked without pay. Those within the MCHR administered emergency care, offered prenatal care, taught health education, and coordinated with willing health care professionals state-wide. There is no longer evidence to suggest that this committee is still active.
For further reference see: http://www.crmvet.org/docs/mchr.htm


MEA: Mississippi Education Association

The Mississippi Education Association was founded in 1885 as a professional association for Caucasian educators. During the Civil Rights Movement the National Education Association required all state associations to eliminate racially discriminatory language in their constitutions so that unified state educational associations could be formed. The African-American educators’ association, at the time, was the Mississippi Teachers’ Association. These two professional societies were unable to strike amenable terms until 1975. The MEA merged with the Mississippi Teachers Association in 1976 to form the Mississippi Association of Educators.


MFDP: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was formed in April 1964 during the Council of Federated Organization's (COFO) state convention. It was established as an alternative to the Mississippi Democratic Party which had denied and discouraged African-Americans’ suffrage in Mississippi for decades. The MFDP eventually merged with mainstream party, the Mississippi Democratic Party.


MFLU: Mississippi Freedom Labor Union

The Mississippi Freedom Labor Union was an agent of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. The MFLU was founded in Shaw, Mississippi, in 1965. Its main goal was to organize economically disadvantaged African-American workers against the exploitation of discriminatory employers. The MFLU is no longer in existence.


MSU: Mississippi Student Union

The Mississippi Student Union was established by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to unite students throughout the state of Mississippi and recruit them to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. Statewide boarding schools were opened to house Mississippi students who exhibited exceptional leadership skills to collaborate and organize student movements in their own communities. The MSU is no longer in existence.


NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is devoted to promoting and protecting equal rights for African-American citizens. Its members were key organizers of protests, rallies, and voter registration during the Civil Rights Movement. NAACP members also proposed new laws to ensure that African-Americans would be treated the same as whites in social, economic, and political arenas. The NAACP suffered a huge loss in 1963 when its first field director in Mississippi, Medgar Evers, was assassinated in Jackson. The NAACP continues to strive for "the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination" (History of the NAACP. http://www.naacp.org/about/history: Accessed December 2005).
For further reference see: http://www.naacp.org/about/history/


NCCC: National Council of the Churches of Christ

The National Council of the Churches of Christ is a union of Christian denominations in the United States that hope to foster religious education, religious tolerance, and celebration of diversity. Today they are particularly concerned with eliminating poverty and overcoming racial and gender injustices in the United States. This organization remains active today.
For further reference see: http://www.ncccusa.org/


NCFEM: National Committee for Free Elections in Mississippi

The National Committee for Free Elections in Mississippi formed in response to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Mississippi African-American candidates’ need for assistance and support. At the time it was the only institute in the country challenging the political structure in support of African-American candidates. There is no current information to indicate the NCFEM is still active.


NCNP: National Conference for New Politics

In 1967 the National Conference for New Politics was founded as an umbrella organization to combine the efforts of the many different equal rights campaigns. This organization worked closely with the National Committee for Free Elections in Mississippi (NCFEM). There is no current information to indicate the NCNP is still active.


OEO: Washington Office of Economic Opportunity

When President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty, the Office of Economic Opportunity was given the task of developing programs to present community-based training in impoverished areas of the country. The OEO concerned itself with housing, education, and health care in economically disadvantaged areas. The OEO was dismantled, as a result of widespread criticism, in 1973.


SCEF: Southern Conference Educational Fund

The Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) was established in 1938 after the New Deal government declared the South’s economic hardships a top priority. Its purpose was to unite poor African-Americans and Caucasians and organize them to instigate change and stimulate economic development. Initially SCEF supported labor unions and the politically disenfranchised. However, SCEF soon recognized segregation was the real culprit preventing economic stability in the South. As a result of this epiphany, SCEF shifted its focus to distributing information, promoting interracial forums, and encouraging Caucasians to take part in the Civil Rights Movement. Three SCEF projects that greatly facilitated this thrust for social and economic change were
The Southern Mountain Project, The GROW project, and The Southern Peace Education Program. There is no current evidence to suggest that the SCEF is still in existence.


SCLC: Southern Christian Leadership Conference

In 1957 Dr. Martin Luther King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to combine the efforts of Christian groups and leaders to change the social and political conditions of African-Americans in the South. The founding of this organization was inspired by the 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, that lead to the 1956 Supreme Court decision that segregated seating was unconstitutional and should cease. Shortly after its founding the group changed their name to the Southern Leadership Conference (SLC). Today the SLC is still devoted to pursuing equality for all races and classes through spiritual communion and non-violent demonstration.
For further reference see: http://www.sclcnational.org/core/item/page.aspx?s=25461.0.12.2607


SDS: Students for a Democratic Society

The Students for a Democratic Society, a radical student activist organization, was founded in 1959. They loudly criticized the United States government for its inability to relieve poverty and social tensions of the 1960s. Their manifesto, The Port Huron Statement, outlines their main concerns: racial discrimination, nuclear proliferation, and the observation that the egalitarian ideas of our constitution did not match up with discriminatory practices in the South. The group dissolved in 1969, but a widespread revival effort to reconstitute and recapture the spirit of SDS began in 2003 that continues today.
For further reference on the Port Huron Statement see:
http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html


SERA: Southern Education Recreation Association

According to an oral history interview with Bennie Gooden, Southern Education Recreation Association (SERA) was established by Jesse Epps. Epps was a fellow student in Coahoma County with Gooden. Epps traveled to New York and returned to Coahoma County with new hope for implementing programs for under-privileged residents there. SERA’s goal was to foster community-based improvements in education and recreation. During this time Epps applied for funding from the newly created Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). SERA received the funding for which he applied and began Head Start programs and other community-based initiatives throughout Coahoma and Tunica Counties. With the help and leadership of Bennie Gooden, Coahoma Opportunities, Inc. became a subsidiary of SERA. There is no indication that SERA is still in existence.


SNCC: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed after a 1960 lunch counter sit-in resulted in the arrest of four North Carolina college students. Ella Baker helped organize other college students to peacefully protest racial inequality throughout the South and with the assistance of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), SNCC was formed. In 1961 the organization cooperated with the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and made some real progress in beginning the movement to desegregate the South. They were extremely influential in registering African-American voters, organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer, and challenging segregation through non-violent protest. SNCC is no longer an active organization.
For further reference see: http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/


SRC: Southern Regional Council

The Southern Regional Council (SRC) was founded in 1919 to protect the civil rights of Southern citizens from racial injustices and rights violations. The council was heavily involved with registering African-American voters through the organization of the Voter Education Project. SRC also helped with school desegregation efforts. The SRC is still an active organization.


SSOC: Southern Students Organizing Committee

The Southern Students Organizing Committee was an umbrella organization established to connect isolated civil rights groups on Southern college campuses. Their goal was to fuse their efforts to fight segregationists. SSOC promoted the use of newsletters and campus travelers to bridge gaps in communication between student groups. SSOC planned the White Community Project, a.k.a The White Folk's Project, in a joint effort with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to organize poor whites on similar economic issues. The SSOC is no longer active.


UAHC: Union of American Hebrew Congregations

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations was formed, in 1873, by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise to unify disparate Jewish congregations and train rabbis for various sectors of society. Early in the Civil Rights Movement, rabbis were urged to be active in Freedom Rides and other measures that promoted equal rights. Many Jews became intimately involved with the Civil Rights Movement due to an impulse that the struggles and ideologies of the movement were similar to the social battles experienced earlier by the Jewish community. The UAHC has since changed its name to the Union for Reform Judaism.
For further reference see: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=28&letter=U


UMC: University of Mississippi. Medical Center

The Medical Center at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) perpetuated segregation practices throughout the 1960s by refusing treatment to African-American patients. The UMC is still in operation.


WFP: White Folks Project

The White Folks Project, also known as The White Community Project, was established in the early 1960's by Sam Shirah. Its goal was registering low-income Caucasian citizens to vote and encouraging community leaders to attend forums on racism and interracial cooperation in social and economic reform. This project is no longer active.

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