CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
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Song: "Hit the Road Matt: Good riddance to a reprehensible Chancellor!"

This version of the Ray Charles classic was written by members of the Graduate Center General Assembly and Adjunct Project on the occasion of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein's June 2013 retirement. The song references ongoing scandals over which [...]

Medgar Evers College - The Pursuit of a Community's Dream

In this short book, Medgar Evers College: The Pursuit of a Community's Dream, CUNY retired professors Florence Tager and Zala Highsmith-Taylor tell the story of the founding of the college. As an institution born largely out of 1960s [...]

Letter from Frederick H. Burkhardt to Al Vann

This is a letter from Frederick H. Burkhardt, chairman of the Committee to Seek Presidents for Community Colleges Seven and Eight, to Al Vann, chairman of the Steering Committee of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition. In it, Burkhardt informs Vann that [...]

Community's Criteria for the President of Community College No. 7

Created by the Bedford-Stuyvesant community, this paper outlines their criteria for the president of Community College No. 7 (later named Medgar Evers College). Including experience, physical appearance, philosophy and personal background, among the [...]

Oral History Interview with Vera Weekes

Originally from Montserrat, Vera Weekes discusses her experience immigrating to the United States in 1989 and her subsequent decades at Medgar Evers College beginning in 1990. A senior paralegal and a Board of Immigration Appeals accredited [...]

MEC for MEC, Albany, 1976

Demonstration in Albany when budget cuts threatened Medgar Evers College. Sign reads: "DON'T LET THEM ASSASSINATE MEDGAR EVERS AGAIN! KEEP ALIVE THE ONLY FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE IN OUR COMMUNITY!!"

Medgar Evers College, historical buildings

Image compilation of the various buildings that made up Medgar Evers College in its early years.

Governor's Conversion of Community College #7 to Senior College

This letter from Department of Education Commissioner Ewald Nyquist acknowledges the Regents' approval of the conversion of New York City Community College Seven to a senior (four-year) college offering both associate and BA degrees. While [...]

"Black Students Union and Black Organizations Demonstration Against Genocide and Racism"

The Black Students Union and other supportive organizations sponsored a demonstration at the United Nations in April of 1976 to oppose the City University of New York’s proposals to close and merge colleges that mainly served minority communities. [...]

February 1968 Memo and Press Release from Youth in Action

In this February 6, 1968 memo, the leaders of Youth in Action (YiA), an anti-poverty organization based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, responded to CUNY’s announcement of a new community college in their community, expressing grave concerns that community [...]

May 23, 1968, meeting minutes of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) Steering Committee

On May 23, 1968, the Steering Committee of the newly-formed Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS), a network of education advocacy groups and community-based organizations, met to discuss how they would represent [...]

June 1968 Draft Statement for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS)

In this June 1968 statement drafted for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS), Dr. Dave Berkman, Steering Committee member of the B-SCENS, presents demands for a new public college planned in and for central [...]

Presidential Search Negotiation Team June 6, 1968, Memo to the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services

On June 6, 1968, a Presidential Search Committee comprised of five representatives from Bedford-Stuyvesant and five officials of the City University of New York (CUNY) met to discuss how they would collaborate to plan and lead a new public college [...]

Presidential Search Committee of Community College 7: Minutes July 9, 1968,

On July 9, 1968, the Presidential Search Committee for “Community College 7,” composed of five City University of New York officials and five appointed representatives of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s community-based organizations, met to discuss plans [...]

Minutes of Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services Community July 11, 1968, Meeting with Negotiation Team

On July 11, 1968, the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services held a community meeting, at which the five-member Negotiation Team, appointed to represent them in planning Community College 7 with City of New York (CUNY) [...]

Minutes of July 25, 1968, Community Meeting of the Bedford- Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services

On July 25, 1968, the Bedford Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) held a community meeting to discuss ongoing negotiations with the City University of New York (CUNY) regarding plans to develop a new college in Central [...]

How the new Community College 7 will be "different": September 18, 1968 Letter from Al Vann to Frederick Burkhardt

On September 18, 1968, Al Vann, Chairman of the Negotiation Team and Steering Committee of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS), wrote to Frederick Burkhardt, Chairman of the New York City Board of Higher [...]

Proposal for a 1968 conference for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Community to allow for full participation in the development of Community College 7

On September 18, 1968, Jack Pannigan, head of Central Brooklyn youth club, Brothers and Sisters for African American Unity, drafted a proposal to his fellow members of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) [...]

Steering Committee of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services Minutes: Proposed Selection Criteria for the President of Community College 7

On September 24, 1968, the Steering Committee of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) met to discuss the criteria they hoped to use in the selection of a president for a new, public college in Central [...]

October 7, 1968, Letter from Al Vann to the editors of the New York Amsterdam News

On October 7, 1968, Al Vann, chairman of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services, wrote a letter to the Editor of the New York Amsterdam News, responding to an editorial published a week earlier. The editors of the [...]

November 26, 1968 Minutes of the Presidential Search Committee for Community College 7

On November 26, 1968, the Presidential Search Committee for Community College 7, composed of five City University of New York (CUNY) officials and five appointed representatives of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community, met to discuss candidates for the [...]

December 3, 1968 Minutes of the Special Meeting of the Negotiation Team of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Educational Needs and Services

The five-member Negotiation Team of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services met on December 3, 1968, to discuss a proposed resolution put forward by City University of New York (CUNY) officials to establish Community [...]

December 10, 1968 Letter from Al Vann to Frederick Burkhardt

On December 10, 1968, Al Vann, Chairman of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS), wrote to Frederick Burkhardt, Chairman of the New York City Board of Higher Education, to comment on a debate that had [...]

February 13, 1968 Youth in Action Press Release Announcing Formation of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Opportunities and Services

In this February 13, 1968 press release, Youth in Action (YiA), a Bedford-Stuyvesant-based anti-poverty organization, announced the formation of the “Coalition on Educational Opportunities and Services,” (later changed to “Bedford-Stuyvesant [...]

February 14, 1968 Statement of the Central Brooklyn Coordinating Committee Regarding the Placement of a Community College in Central Brooklyn

On February 14, 1968, the Central Brooklyn Coordinating Council (CBCC), a community-based organization in Bedford-Stuyvesant, issued a public statement in response to City University of New York (CUNY) officials’ announcement two weeks earlier of [...]

January 19, 1969, Letter from Justice Thomas Jones to Al Vann announcing Jones's resignation from the Negotiation Team for Community College 7

On January 19, 1969 New York State Justice Thomas Jones wrote to Al Vann, Chairman of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition for Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS), resigning from his position as a member of the five-member Negotiation Team [...]

February 6, 1969 Minutes of the Negotiation Team of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services in preparation for the Presidential Search Committee meeting for Community College 7

The five-member Negotiation Team delegated by the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) met on February 6, 1969, to prepare for a meeting to be held later that day with five City University of New York officials, [...]

February 6, 1969 Minutes of Presidential Search Committee for Community College 7

On February 6, 1968, the Presidential Search Committee for Community College 7, composed of five City University of New York (CUNY) officials and five appointed representatives of Bedfrord-Stuyvesant community organizations, met to discuss criteria [...]

Minutes of the February 17, 1969 Meeting of the Presidential Search Committee for Community College 7

On February 17, 1969 the Presidential Search Committee for Community College 7, composed of five City University of New York (CUNY) officials and five appointed representatives of Bedfrord-Stuyvesant community organizations, met to continue their [...]

March 13, 1969 Minutes of the Steering Committee of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services:

On March 13, 1969, the Steering Committee of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Service met to discuss progress in the planning for Community College 7. At the meeting, the Committee formulated and agreed on three [...]

April 7, 1969, letter from Hugh Smythe to Albert Bowker declining the offer of the presidency of Community College 7

On April 7, 1969, Hugh Smythe, United States Ambassador to Malta, wrote to Dr. Albert Bowker, Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY) declining his offer of the position of president of Community College 7. Smythe specifically [...]

May 26, 1969 Letter from Thomas Jones to Franklin Thomas

On May 26, 1969, New York State Justice Thomas Jones wrote to Franklin Thomas, president of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, forwarding a copy of a letter sent four days earlier from Albert Bowker to Al Vann, Chair of the [...]

Unsigned July 27, 1969 Letter from "Concerned Members of the Negotiation Team" to Al Vann

On July 27, 1969, “Concerned members of the Negotiation Team” of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) drafted a letter to Al Vann, Chairman of the B-SCENS and the Negotiation Team, asking that he postpone [...]

September 16, 1969 Resolution of the Board of Higher Education to Disband the Presidential Search and Planning Committee for Community College 7

On September 16, 1969 the Executive Committee of the Board of Higher Education (BHE( issued a formal resolution to dissolve the “Presidential Search and Planning Committee for Community College 7” due to the insistence of the Bedford-Stuyvesant [...]

September 17, 1969 Letter from CUNY Vice Chancellor Julius C. C. Edelstein to Assemblyman Samuel Wright

On September 17, 1969, Julius Edelstein, Vice Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY), wrote to Assemblyman Samuel Wright, who represented Central Brooklyn, to inform him of the Executive Committee of the Board of Higher Education [...]

September 24, 1969 Letter from Al Vann to Porter Chandler

On September 24, 1969, Al Vann, Chairman of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Coalition on Educational Needs and Services (B-SCENS) wrote a letter to Porter Chandler, Chairman of the Board of Higher Education, responding to a recent Resolution of the Executive [...]

January 27, 1969 Resolution of the Board of Higher Education approving the establishment of a four-year experimental college in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

On January 27, 1969, the Board of Higher Education of New York City resolved to establish an “experimental four-year college of professional studies located in or near Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn,” effectively supplanting plans announced a year [...]

Brooklyn Branch Education Committee of the NAACP Press Release, March 16, 1970: The Appointment of Richard Trent as President of Medgar Evers College, CUNY

On March 16, 1970 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a press release announcing their approval of the appointment of Richard Trent as the president of the newly established Medgar Evers College, CUNY in [...]

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