The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States that played a pivotal role for African Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. Founded in 1942, its stated mission is "to bring about equality for all people regardless of race, creed, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background."
CORE"s national chairman was Roy Innis.
CORE was founded in Chicago in March 1942. Among the founding members were James L. Farmer, Jr., George Houser, James R. Robinson, Samuel E. Riley, Bernice Fisher, Homer Jack, and Joe Guinn. Of the 50 original members 28 were men and 22 were women, roughly one-third of them were black and two-thirds white. Bayard Rustin, while not a father of the organization, was, as Farmer and House later said, "an uncle to CORE" and supported it greatly. The group had evolved out of the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, and sought to apply the principles of nonviolence as a tactic against segregation. The group"s inspiration was Mahatma Gandhi"s teachings of non-violence resistance. Krishnalal Shridharani, a popular writer and journalist as well as a vibrant and theatrical speaker, had been a protege of Gandhi and had been jailed in the Salt March whose book War Without Violence influenced the organisation. Gandhi had, in turn, been influenced by the writings of Henry David Thoreau, the American author, poet, and philosopher. At the time of CORE"s founding Gandhi was still engaged in non-violent resistance against British rule in India; CORE believed that nonviolent civil disobedience could also be used by African-Americans to challenge racial segregation in the United States.
In accordance with CORE"s constitution and bylaws, in the early and mid-1960s, chapters were organized on a model similar to that of a democratic trade union, with monthly membership meetings, elected and usually unpaid officers, and numerous committees of volunteers. In the South, CORE"s nonviolent direct action campaigns