File #: Res 0377-2014    Version: * Name: Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Summer Project.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Civil Rights
On agenda: 8/21/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Summer Project.
Sponsors: Laurie A. Cumbo, Inez D. Barron, Margaret S. Chin, Costa G. Constantinides, Vanessa L. Gibson, Stephen T. Levin, Rosie Mendez, Donovan J. Richards, Andrew Cohen
Council Member Sponsors: 9
Res. No. 377
Resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Summer Project.
By Council Members Cumbo, Barron, Chin, Constantinides, Gibson, Levin, Mendez, Richards and Cohen
      Whereas, In the summer of 1964, various civil rights organizations formed a voter registration drive that became known as the Mississippi Summer Project or Freedom Summer ("the Project"); and
      Whereas, The mission of the Project was to dramatically increase voter registration of African Americans in Mississippi; and
      Whereas, The Project brought hundreds of student volunteers throughout the United States to Mississippi to challenge the State's system of unbending segregation, which included preventing non-whites from voting, obtaining an adequate education and holding an elected office position; and
Whereas, Various civil rights organizations stationed in New York City recruited volunteers to send to Mississippi in an effort to join the Project and put an end to these injustices; and
      Whereas, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  and the Legal Defense Fund, and other organizations located in New York City and Washington D.C., helped transfer volunteer attorneys to assist with the Project; and
      Whereas, Throughout the Project, which lasted  ten weeks, over 1,000 people were arrested, 80 volunteers were beaten, many African American churches, homes and businesses were bombed or burned, four civil rights workers were killed and several more were critically wounded; and
      Whereas, Three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were volunteers who decided to examine the burning of an African American church near Philadelphia; and
      Whereas, These young men were arrested by the police, locked up for several hours and then released in the middle of the night to the Klu Klux Klan, who then assaulted and murdered the three men; and
Whereas, The murders deeply affected the Project and gave more momentum to the cause; and
Whereas, The Project helped facilitate the registration of over 1,000 African American voters and established 40 Freedom Schools, alternative free schools for African American youth designated to cultivate political participation and discussion and to educate and encourage African Americans to be activists and to be agents of change in Mississippi after the Freedom Summer ended; and
Whereas, Because of the Project, some of the barriers to vote for African Americans in Mississippi were eliminated; and
      Whereas, To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Project, nonprofit organizations in Mississippi hosted a conference in June of 2014 called "The Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference" where attendees acknowledged the individuals who worked and lost their lives in an effort to change the rigid segregation that existed in Mississippi; and
      Whereas, To honor the individuals and organizations that worked diligently in an effort to achieve equality during the Project, the City of New York should recognize the summer of 2014 as the 50th anniversary of the Project; now, therefore, be it
      Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Summer Project.
LS# 2221