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The Purpose of the Citizenship School
   The Citizenship Schools are for adults. Their immediate program is literacy. They enable students to pass literacy tests for voting. There is also involved in the mechanics of learning to read and write an all-round education in community development which includes housing, recreation, health, and improved home life. Specific subjects are emphasized such as safe driving, social security, cooperatives, the income tax, an understanding of tax-supported resources such as water testing for wells and aid for handicapped children, and the structure and function of our local and national government.
   The Citizenship Schools provide a service to the people which is not available through any other private or public program at the present time.
   They are open to all people of a community who face problems related to first-class citizenship and want to do something about them.

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The Southern Christian Leadership Conference

   On January 10, 1957, more than 100 Southern leaders gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, to share and discuss problems of the Southern Struggle. This group voted to form a permanent organization that would serve as an agency for groups using the technique and philosophy of non-violence in creative protest. In March 1957 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference came into being. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was elected president.
   Dr. King, the son of a Baptist minister, was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Early in his life he developed a great sensitivity to the suffering of oppressed people and has dedicated his life to helping remove such suffering. Dr. King was greatly influenced by his Christian up-bringing and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. His creative use of the philosophy of nonviolence and his conviction that "America cannot remain half segregated and half free" makes him one of the most effective civil rights leaders of our time. His leadership in the Montgomery bus boycott brought him into national prominence and his continuing participation in direct action in the current efforts to gain first class citizenship has made his name a banner to follow for millions of Americans all over the country.
  The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is made up of organizations all across the South. The formation of its basic policy is the responsibility of an Executive Board. The Board has representatives from the entire South.

   A large number of ministers have come to the front as leaders in the organization because the Negro ministers in the South have been the community leaders and champions of the Negro's civil liberties.

   The Southern Christian Leadership Conference believes in Christian nonviolence. Its activities revolve around two points: the use of non-violent philosophy as a means of creative protest, and securing the right of the ballot for every citizen. It has for its aim the achievement of full citizenship rights, equality, and the integration of the Negro in all aspects of American life.


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