Council of Federated Organizations

Council of Federated Organizations

The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was formed in Mississippi in 1962.

A coalition of the major Civil Rights Movement organizations operating in Mississippi, COFO was formed to coordinate and unite voter registration and other civil rights activities in the state and oversee the distribution of funds from the Voter Education Project. It was instrumental in forming the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. COFO member organizations included the NAACP, CORE, SCLC and the SNCC.

COFO was formalized in August 1962, at a meeting held in Clarksdale MS. Attending were Bob Moses, James Forman and a dozen other SNCC workers, Dave Dennis of CORE, James Bevel representing SCLC, and others. NAACP leader Aaron Henry was elected President, Rev. R.L.T. Smith was named Treasurer, attorney Carsie Hall was chosen as Secretary, and Bob Moses was appointed the COFO state-wide Project Director. [1]

An agreement was reached that CORE would focus its voter registration efforts in the congressional district centered around Meridian and SNCC would work the other four districts including the Delta region around Greenwood and the Pearl River area around McComb. SCLC's role was to focus on its Citizenship School program throughout the state, and the NAACP would handle the judicial aspects of the struggle.

In the years that followed, COFO operated as the umbrella organization coordinating voter registration and education campaigns, Freedom Summer, building the MFDP, the delegate challenge at the Democratic Party convention in Atlantic City in 1964, and the subsequent Congressional challenge.


  1. ^ Council of Federated Organizations Formed in Mississippi ~ Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement

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