Sharing Stories Inspiring Change


Rita Schwerner CORE application letter excerpt

Since I have become active in CORE here in New York, I have become increasingly aware of the problems which exist in the Southern states. I have a strong desire to contribute in some small way, by the utilization of those skills which I possess, to the redress of the many grievances occurring daily. I wish to become an active participant rather than a passive onlooker. Realizing the Northern newspaper and radio accounts are often distorted…, I wish to acquire firsthand knowledge of existing conditions in the South…

As a teacher I have been working in South Jamaica, Queens where I not only have had experience in dealing with teenagers, but have become increasingly concerned with the conditions under which these children must live…

As my husband and I are in close agreement as to our philosophy and involvement in the civil rights struggle, I wish to work near him, under the direction of CORE, in whatever capacity I may be most useful. My hope is to someday pass on to the children we may have a world containing more respect for the dignity and worth of all men than that world which was willed to us.

Quoted in Huie William Bradford, Three Lives for Mississippi. (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2000 [orig. 1965]), 37-38.

Other license (see note)

Related content:


Excerpts from Rita Schwerner's application letter to CORE's Freedom Summer project in 1964.

Date / time: 
Schwerner, Rita
University of Mississippi Press
Three Lives for Mississippi
Date published: 

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Rita Schwerner CORE application letter excerpt." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <>.