In 1960 as a college senior I helped organize a demonstration against a Woolworth store in my college town of Saratoga Springs, NY. Ultimately, after some intervening years in which I raised funds for organizing in the South and hosted the Freedom Singers in Berkeley where I was a grad student, this led to me joining the SNCC staff in March of 1964. I went to Atlanta and worked with Dinky Romilly to build support among northern students and groups for SNCC's work in the South. During the summer of 1964 I worked in the SNCC national office in Greenwood and then returned to Atlanta in fall '64 where I remained until fall 1965. Then I traveled doing federal programs and worked in the Washington SNCC office. For the most part I worked behind the lines to support the front line assault on the segregated South. To be continued.....
It was indeed a privilege for me to work with wonderful savvy, smart and dedicated peers from the South and around the country and to survive the eye of the social movement storm of the 60's. This experience was the major influence on my life and informed the later choices I made about work, career and family. Every young person should have a social movement in their lifetime — an incredibly and indelibly formative experience which allows you to think and see outside the box and to understand the way our country works — and then to rise to the challenge of eliminating racism and fulfilling the promise of democracy for ALL America's children and people.
Currently I work as a community organizer in Baltimore, Maryland, by actively supporting the young people in the Baltimore Algebra Project and the United Workers, a human rights organization of low-wage workers: www.unitedworkers.org