Joni Rabinowitz

SNCC, 1963, Georgia
7721 Edgerton Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: 412-241-8359

I went to work with SNCC in Albany, GA in the spring and summer of 1963. I was a student at Antioch College and this was a "co-op job" for me. Although I was only there a very short time this 6 months affected me profoundly. I was inspired by all the people I met there: the high school and college kids, and the community folks — Goldie and Bo, Rev Wells, Mama and the entire King family, Carolyn Daniels, the Harris family, the Gaines Family, Eddie Brown and Randy Battle, and all the young people who came from the North and other parts of the south, and I could go on.

[Charles] Sherrod was a very strict boss and kept his eye on us to make sure that we didn't do anything stupid that would get us or somebody else in trouble. I'm not sure I knew at the time — but I eventually knew — that he was in a small minority of people who wanted to bring down white folks from the north. And I respected him for that.

My parents were very supportive of what I was doing. In fact, the following year my younger brother went to Mississippi during Freedom Summer and taught in a Freedom School.

What I learned during the short time I was in Albany, has deeply influenced much of my later activities. I was a co-director and community organizer in an anti-hunger and anti-poverty public policy advocacy organization for 25 years. And no matter what else I've been doing, I've always been involved, in some way, in voter registration and GOTV [Get Out the Vote] work. I ran as a delegate for Jesse Jackson in '88 and continue to do electoral work, altho I don't have much hope for elected officials at the moment (April 2013).

I continue to be hopeful that young people will learn from our history and work to make this world a better place.


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