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Eyes on the Prize
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Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

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James Farmer, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), leads demonstration at New York World's Fair, 1964.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in 1942 by the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation to address civil rights issues. During World War II, many African Americans served their country honorably in the military, despite still facing racial barriers at home. In 1942, the organization held America's first organized sit-in in Chicago. Initially based in the North, CORE broadened its reach in 1961 by sending racially mixed groups of passengers on Freedom Rides to desegregate interstate buses. Three of its members -- Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney -- were murdered in Mississippi during voter registration efforts in 1964's Freedom Summer. Speaking at Chaney's funeral, CORE's Mississippi head David Dennis said, "He's got his freedom, and we're still fighting for ours."

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