New York University CORE (pt. 3)

Even though it reported having only twelve to fifteen regular members, NYU CORE could still have forty pickets for its demonstrations urging people to boycott a First National City Bank branch near NYU. The issue was the bank’s purchase of bonds issued by Mississippi, which used the funds raised to support the state’s segregated colleges. The action was part of larger CORE effort. 7 Arts was involved in similar work.

NYU CORE were also attempting to force the university administration to get involved by removing its funds from the bank. NYU supported the chapter’s right to protest but not the protest itself.

Even though it was counter picketed by NYU’s Young Americans for Freedom group, NYU CORE believed it had an affect on the bank’s business through picketing. The demonstrations also got the chapter more members and publicity.

Never LES Than The Most High
As CORE began to place less emphasis on demonstrations and more on community organizing, NYU CORE became more involved with residents of the LES, especially kids. They opened up a store front office at 332 E. 4th street between Avenues C and D. The purpose was to establish a relationship between NYU CORE members and local residents. The chapter hoped to make it into something residents would eventually take over. The community center opened in October, 1965. Downtown CORE had also opened a store front a block away on 3rd street.

As noted with Downtown CORE, Avenue D was a strip of more than 20 blocks of public housing projects. An area infested with crime and narcotics, it could not have been an easy place for a group of mostly privileged young White college students to work.

The center’s employment program was successful in getting people placed in jobs. Its after school program included tutoring. The center also provided free space for residents to meet. This included allowing local avant garde jazz artists to have a practice space.

Meanwhile at NYU, the chapter worked to get a Negro history course included in the curriculum since there were none at the time. This speaks somewhat to CORE’s contribution to the creation of Black Studies programs. NYU CORE was also pressuring NYU over the integration of work crews in the construction of NYU’s library.

Jerry Bornstein was still chairman as of June 1966 but what ultimately happened to the chapter afterwards is not known at this time.