Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Statement of Purpose

(1960)

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Statement of Purpose, written by theology student and civil rights activist James Lawson, Jr., and dated April 1960, emphasizes the organization's commitment to nonviolence in efforts to defeat racial segregation during the civil rights era. On April 15–17, 1960, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed on the campus of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The SNCC was the product, in large part, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. That organization's executive director, Ella Baker, organized a conference on the Shaw University campus with a view to bringing together student groups participating in the civil rights movement.


Sparking the movement was the first “sit-in,” which took place at a segregated lunch counter at a Woolworth store in Greensboro, North Carolina. That February, students from nearby North Carolina Agricultural and Technical...

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Shaw University ca. 1900 (Library of Congress)

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