SNCC Digital Gateway

Hand signing Black Panther Ballot, copyright Maria Varela.

Hand signing Black Panther Ballot, copyright Maria Varela.

In 2013, the SNCC Legacy Project (SLP) and Duke University, represented by the Center for Documentary Studies and Duke Libraries, formed a partnership to chronicle the historic struggles for voting rights and to develop programs that contribute to a more civil and inclusive democracy. SNCC—the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—was at the cutting edge of direct action and grassroots organizing during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

During the pilot project, One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights, former SNCC organizers came to Duke as Visiting Activist Scholars and worked with students, faculty, archivists, and others to build a website that chronicled and contextualized the organization’s work.

Currently, the long-term SLP and Duke collaboration is building on that effort with the creation of a SNCC Digital Gateway, an online reference and portal to digitized documents, photographs, and audiovisual materials, including critical oral histories, that will highlight SNCC’s experience around building democracy from the ground up and the inside out—informational wealth that will help activate people to have a say in their own lives at the local and national levels. A K–12 educational component of the partnership will draw on the gateway as a learning tool.