Robert Heard

SCLC, SCOPE, 1962-65, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida
11320 S. Union Ave.
Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: 773-744-1161

I was the contact person for the teams that visited colleges and universities to recruit volunteers for the SCOPE Project, the largest voter registration drive in Civil Rights history. They contacted me on a daily basis informing me of their activities. I also sometimes added additional stops for them to make. I eventually went on tour myself to Colleges and Universities that were late in responding to our requests.

Once the volunteers were sent out to the various towns they were assigned to, I was asked to be a member of one of several teams of experience activists to monitor their progress. If there were personality problems we helped resolve the conflict and if necessary relocated volunteers. If they had a problem getting something started we stayed and helped them mobilize voters in their area. If there was violence we stayed and road it out with them.

I was sent to St. Augustine, Florida where I worked with the local movement leader Dr Robert Hayling and helped to run the campaign of a local candidate for office. At another time I was assigned to work in New Bern North Carolina in cooperation with Floyd McKissick. I also helped organize sit-ins and demonstrations in Washington and Wayross Georgia. Primarily working under Rev Hosea Williams, but also working with Stoney Cooks.

Three of the volunteers I remember working with were Candace Weber Bond Perry and Bill Treanor.

Working in Chicago and being one of the key people who started the first Chicago Board of Elections Sit-ins gave me a sense of hope, realizing that if I worked hard enough I could help change some of the injustices suffered by Afro-Americans in this country. Working down south and the progress we made there just increased my desire to help create social justice. As a result I have spent most of my life in that pursuit.

I was a founding member and organizer establishing the Peace and Freedom party in California. I was the first Executive Director of the National Free Clinic Council (NFCC) receiving a $1,000,000 a year grant for three years from the National Institute Of Drug abuse (NIDA). Became a consultant to the White House Special Action Office on Drug Abuse Prevention, helping to define Prevention and Education and prioritize how the government would spent money to address the poly-drug epidemic.

I worked on a lot of political activities for Mayor Harold Washington in Chicago, Illinois. Worked with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators to successfully defeat the NAFTA/GATT Free Trade Agreements. Unfortunately the President resorted to buying votes with special projects in order to finally pass NAFTA/GATT. I have worked on numerous political campaigns and am current employed as a supervisor at the Chicago Board of Elections..


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