Discover Who Participated in the Freedom Summer Project | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Discover Who Participated in the Freedom Summer Project

Discover Who Participated in the Freedom Summer Project | Wisconsin Historical Society

  • Search over 1,600 names of staff and volunteers collated from Freedom Summer personnel documents in the Society's collections.
  • This single spreadsheet features fields for workers' names, hometowns, home states, paid status and, in many cases, where they were posted in Mississippi and the type work they performed.
  • Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. However, we will continue to update it as more records become available.

Do you want to see if anyone from your state or community participated in the 1964 Freedom Summer Project? Search over 1,600 names of Freedom Summer staff and volunteers collated from 15 personnel lists held in the Society's collections. To access the list, click the "View or Download" link to the right. 

Paid staff included the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO).

Volunteers included local Mississippi residents as well as people from across the country and other nations.

Here are specifics about the types of workers in the project.

Paid Staff
  • SNCC and CORE provided at least 120 of the Freedom Summer paid staff who coordinated almost 1,500 volunteers.
  • Nearly 100 volunteers became paid staff during or after the project.
Volunteers (anyone not listed as paid staff in the original records)
  • College students made up the majority of volunteers. More than 900 of these were white college students from across the nation. Volunteers also came from Canada, England, New Zealand, and Kenya. 
  • Clergy volunteered for the project, including 254 people sponsored by the Delta Ministry and the National Council of Churches.
  • Doctors and other health care workers volunteered, including 50 who were sponsored by the Medical Committee on Human Rights.
  • Lawyers also came to help. At least 159 attorneys were provided by the National Lawyers Guild and the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee and other came on their own.
  • Local residents in many Mississippi towns canvassed for voters, taught in Freedom Schools, housed northern college students, staffed community centers, and performed other essential work without pay and at great personal risk. 

They were dedicated to helping African-Americans register to vote and achieve social equality in Mississippi. Along the way they endured arrests, beatings, fire bombings, spying, firing, evictions, shootings, and other forms of intimidation and violence from opponents of the project. Their efforts had a lasting effect on the course of the Civil Rights movement and changed American history.

 Learn More

Have Questions?

Email us to get answers to your questions about Freedom Summer.