Tom Gardner

SSOC, VSCRC, SCEF, 1964-1984, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, KY, MS, LA, WVA
Current Residence: Amherst, MA

LCCR — Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
SCEF — Southern Conference Education Fund
SNCC — Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
SSOC — Southern Student Organizing Committee
VSCRC — Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee

I got involved in my first year at U.Va. in the formation of the Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee, a joint SSOC-SNCC project. I dropped out of school in 1966 to work full time in the movement. After community organizing in southside Virginia with VSCRC, I worked for a time on USNSA Southern Project staff with my fellow staff member and comrade Gwen Patton.

On Southern Student Organizing Committee staff, I developed with Dave Nolan and Nancy Hodes, the Southern Peace Tours (sponsored by SSOC and SCEF) that started in Fla. and traveled around the South, organizing against the war and draft.

Became chairman of SSOC 67-68. Worked with SNCC, SCLC, LCCR, SCEF on the Steering Committee Against Repression, developing community and legal counterattacks on police repression against movement. Southern Field Director of Vietnam Summer.

Southern coordinator of UFW Grape Boycott. Went back to U.Va. in '69, active on SCEF board, Virginia Weekly collective, Prisoners Solidarity Committee, Virginia coordinator, Committee to Free Angela Davis.

What it meant to me was everything. I grew up in the movement and learned what it meant to take responsibility for one's country.

Done a lot of things since, but never equal to that intensity or sense of solidarity in a beloved community. Now teaching communication at Westfield State University in Massachusetts.


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