The UPS Foundation has awarded a grant of $25,000 to New York University’s Wagner Labor Archives to establish the UPS/Andrew Goodman Fund in support of the Archives’ ongoing work in documenting civil rights in the workplace. The gift will help create a permanent resource for scholars and students of these occupational issues and reflects UPS’s distinguished record of support for education and volunteer service.
In the spring of 1964, Andrew Goodman went to work at United Parcel Service to earn money for “Mississippi Freedom Summer,” the voter’s rights campaign undertaken by a coalition of civil rights organizations. Refusing his father’s offer of support, Goodman worked for UPS in New York City as a student sorter in order to save funds that Freedom Summer organizers suggested all volunteers bring with them money to post bail in case of arrest. Goodman, along with two other volunteers, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, disappeared that June; in August their bodies were recovered from a construction site near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Their deaths galvanized the civil rights movement and were key to the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act.
The NYU Wagner Labor Archives, with its mission of preserving the history of labor, constitute a unique collaboration of scholars, activists, and members of the labor community. Housed in NYU’s Bobst Library, the collection contains records, personal papers, photographs, oral histories, and films that chart the history of social activism in American life.
The UPS/Andrew Goodman Fund will help to ensure that critical source materials are preserved for future scholarship and will chronicle America’s recent history by supporting the acquisition of new materials on race and labor. The documentary record of labor and the civil rights movement is still evolving, as the uncovering of a trove of materials on Mississippi state surveillance of Freedom Summer volunteers, made public recently by order of the federal courts, illustrates.