Non-profit

Congress of Racial Equality

This is a logo for Congress of Racial Equality. (link)
Location:

BRONX, NY

Tax ID:

27-0910193

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2014):

Revenue: $38,647
Expenses: $36,177
Assets: $2,565

Formation:

1942 [44]

The Congress of Racial Equality is an African American civil rights organization in the United States that played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. Founded in 1942, the organization may be most well-known for organizing the Freedom Rides in 1961.

CORE has evolved its message over the decades. Established as an interracial group in the Midwest focusing on nonviolence, it shifted its focus to African Americans in the South, before embracing Black Nationalism and later becoming a politically conservative organization. [1] [2]

Background

The Congress of Racial Equality, also known as CORE, is a conservative-leaning African American civil rights organization first established in 1942. [3]

Congress of Racial Equality, Inc., or CORE Inc., is the 501(c)(4) parent organization for CORE chapters. The flagship chapter is NY CORE, which is the host national organization with 501(c)(3) status based in New York. [4] [5] Los Angeles, California;[6] and Spartanburg, South Carolina.[7] CORE claims chapters in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Central America, and South America. [8]

Corporate contributors to CORE include ExxonMobil and Monsanto. [9] The National Rifle Association has also contributed to CORE. [10]

History

1940s and 1950s

A cross-racial group of members of the University of Chicago branch of Christian pacifist group Fellowship of Reconciliation founded the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. The students were influenced by the non-violent teachings of Mohandas Gandhi. James L. Farmer, Jr., an African-American, and George Houser, who is white, became the leaders of the group. [11]

CORE’s early growth was based on white middle-class college students from the Midwest that conducted sit-ins and picket lines in the 1940s and early 1950s. [12]

In 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in interstate travel was unconstitutional. CORE tested the enforcement of the ruling with the April 1947 Journey of Reconciliation. Four of the riders were arrested in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, three of whom were forced to work on a chain gang. [13]

In 1953, Farmer became the first national director of CORE. [14]

CORE established a presence in the South in 1957. [15] Martin Luther King, Jr. joined CORE’s advisory committee that year. [16]

After it branched into the South in the late 1950s, it sought black leaders and stopped requiring new chapters have interracial membership. [17]

1960s

CORE partnered with King’s group, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in 1959 and 1960 for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Public Schools in support of integration, the Voter Education Project, and the Chicago Campaign. [18] [19]

CORE organized the Freedom Rides, which included seven black and six white riders in the deep south in 1961. [20] The Freedom Riders were met by violent southern white mobs and a bus was firebombed in Alabama. [21]

CORE also co-sponsored the 1963 March on Washington alongside a number of labor unions and civil rights organizations; the event is best known for King’s “I have a dream” speech. [22] [23]

In 1964, CORE participated in the Freedom Summer Project in Mississippi to register Black voters. During the project, members of the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi murdered three CORE members: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. [24] [25]

After these murders, some CORE members became disenchanted with the interracial non-violent message. Losing members and donors, in 1966, a power struggle pressured James Farmer to step down. Floyd McKissick, who endorsed Black Power, replaced him. [26]

After King’s assassination in 1968, McKissick called him “the last prince of nonviolence” and declared that nonviolence was “a dead philosophy.” [27]

In June 1968, more Black nationalist leaders were elected at CORE and Roy Innis, who was chairman of the Harlem chapter of CORE, became the national director of CORE replacing McKissick. [28] [29]

Roy Innis Leadership

Initially, under Innis, CORE barred white people from membership. [30] Today CORE says its membership is open to anyone that believes “all people are created equal.” [31]

CORE was also deeply in debt and disorganized. CORE Health, Education and Welfare Fund, the group’s fundraising arm, ceased functioning when Farmer left. Innis replaced it with the CORE Special Purpose Fund that began to chip away at the debt. [32]

After assuming leadership in 1968, Innis reportedly met covertly with Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon. Nixon campaign lawyers met with CORE leaders to draft proposed legislation to support black-owned businesses. [33]

As the organization moved toward supporting Republican policies, Innis said CORE embraced an ideology of “pragmatic nationalism” and supported black economic development and community self-determination. [34]

Innis survived attempted ousters by CORE members in the 1970s and 1980s. Former CORE leaders Farmer and McKissick both accused Innis of using CORE funds for personal expenses. [35] In 1986, the IRS fined Innis $56,000 in back taxes and $28,000 in civil fraud penalties, after alleging $116,000 in unreported income from CORE. [36]

Innis supported the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.[37] CORE broke with left-leaning civil rights organizations, opposing busing, opposing affirmative action, and supporting welfare reform. Innis supported the Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. [38] [39]

Roy Innis died at age 82 in January 2017. [40]

Leadership

Innis’s son Niger Innis became the face of the organization. As the national spokesman, the younger Innis has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement. [41]

Niger Innis ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for Congress in 2014 in Nevada. [42] Innis is the former chief strategist for TheTeaParty.net. He also co-founded the New America Alliance and was the co-chairman of the Affordable Power Alliance. [43]

References

  1. “History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality.” Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  2. McFadden, Robert D. “Roy Innis, Black Activist With a Right-Wing Bent, Dies at 82.” The New York Times. January 10, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/roy-innis-obituary.html ^
  3.  “History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality.” Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  4. “What is CORE?” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/Features/what-is-core.htm ^
  5. Other CORE chapters include those based in Las Vegas, Nevada; [note] CORE Las Vegas. Cause IQ. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/congress-of-racial-equality-core,300454763/ ^
  6. CORE of California. Cause IQ. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/congress-of-racial-equality-of-california,954154057/ ^
  7. Southern CORE. Cause IQ. Accessed October 17, 2021. https://www.causeiq.com/organizations/southern-congress-of-racial-equality,570766230/ ^
  8.  “What is CORE?” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/Features/what-is-core.htm ^
  9. McFadden, Robert D. “Roy Innis, Black Activist With a Right-Wing Bent, Dies at 82.” The New York Times. January 10, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/roy-innis-obituary.html ^
  10.  Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  11.  “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  12. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  13. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  14. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  15. McCurdy, Devon. “Congress of Racial Equality (1942).” Black Past. December 16, 2007. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/congress-racial-equality-1942/ ^
  16.  “Congress of Racial Equality: Fighting Discrimination and Segregation.” Academy 4 SC. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://academy4sc.org/video/congress-of-racial-equality-fighting-discrimination-and-segregation/ ^
  17. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  18. “Biography of Congress of Racial Equality. CORE.” Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. Stanford University. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/congress-racial-equality-core ^
  19. Nittle, Nedra Kareem. “Congress of Racial Equality: History and Impact on Civil Rights.” ThoughtCo. September 13, 2021. Accessed October 16, 2021.  https://www.thoughtco.com/congress-of-racial-equality-4772001 ^
  20. McCurdy, Devon. “Congress of Racial Equality (1942).” Black Past. December 16, 2007. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/congress-racial-equality-1942/ ^
  21. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  22. “Biography of Congress of Racial Equality. CORE.” Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. Stanford University. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/congress-racial-equality-core ^
  23. Nittle, Nedra Kareem. “Congress of Racial Equality: History and Impact on Civil Rights.” ThoughtCo. September 13, 2021. Accessed October 16, 2021.  https://www.thoughtco.com/congress-of-racial-equality-4772001 ^
  24. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  25. McCurdy, Devon. “Congress of Racial Equality (1942).” Black Past. December 16, 2007. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/congress-racial-equality-1942/ ^
  26.  “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  27. “Biography of Congress of Racial Equality. CORE.” Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. Stanford University. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/congress-racial-equality-core ^
  28. Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  29. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  30. McCurdy, Devon. “Congress of Racial Equality (1942).” Black Past. December 16, 2007. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/congress-racial-equality-1942/ ^
  31. “What is CORE?” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/Features/what-is-core.htm ^
  32. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  33. Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  34. “The History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  35. Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  36. McFadden, Robert D. “Roy Innis, Black Activist With a Right-Wing Bent, Dies at 82.” The New York Times. January 10, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/roy-innis-obituary.html ^
  37. Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  38. McFadden, Robert D. “Roy Innis, Black Activist With a Right-Wing Bent, Dies at 82.” The New York Times. January 10, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/roy-innis-obituary.html ^
  39. McFadden, Robert D. “Roy Innis, Black Activist With a Right-Wing Bent, Dies at 82.” The New York Times. January 10, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/roy-innis-obituary.html ^
  40. McFadden, Robert D. “Roy Innis, Black Activist With a Right-Wing Bent, Dies at 82.” The New York Times. January 10, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/roy-innis-obituary.html ^
  41. Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  42. Fank, Lee. “The Long Sad Slide From Leading Civil Rights Organization to Anti-Black Lives Matter Group.” The Intercept. August 17, 2015. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2015/08/17/core-went-leading-civil-rights-movement-protesting-support-police-exxonmobil/ ^
  43. Niger Innis. Congress of Racial Equality. Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/Staff/niger.htm ^
  44. “History of CORE.” Congress of Racial Equality.” Accessed October 16, 2021. http://www.core-online.org/History/history.htm ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information


Available Filings

Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
2014 Mar Form 990EZ $38,647 $36,177 $2,565 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
2013 Mar Form 990EZ $5,100 $8,577 $95 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
2012 Mar Form 990EZ $78,936 $83,308 $3,572 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

Additional Filings (PDFs)

Congress of Racial Equality

PO BOX 6360
BRONX, NY 10451-1708