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Grant number like: RZ-255733-17

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Center for Documentary Studies (Durham, NC 27705-4854)
Wesley Hogan (Project Director: December 2016 to October 2022)
William H. Chafe (Co Project Director: January 2017 to October 2022)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$225,000 (approved)
$202,695 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2017 – 9/30/2020

The 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

The collection of oral histories, to be archived in a digital repository and interpreted in a scholarly book, of the work done by field workers of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee towards the expansion of voting rights in the 1960s. (24 months)

A central idea legitimizing U.S. democracy is that of “one person, one vote.” Though laid out in the country’s Constitution as “We the people,” it is far less clear how that ideal came to practical fruition nearly two centuries later in the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This project seeks to generate a new perspective on that pivotal moment, providing, in the process, a more precise and useful interpretative framework for understanding the civic activism of the broader civil rights movement. It pioneers a very different model than anything done before—active collaboration to create new scholarship between archivists, scholars, and those who “made” the history within the freedom movement.