Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kanjo the Community Organizer

Photo From the Attic: Community Organizer

Now-Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) was a Temple University college student in 1958. Here, Kanjorski (left) receives from Temple President Robert Johnson one of the first donations for a fund to help rebuild Clinton (Tenn.) High School, which had been bombed and destroyed by a group opposing desegregation. John MacDonald (left) and David Dorsett stand behind Johnson.

I spotted this photo in Roll Call and asked Congressman Kanjorski's press secretary Abigail McDonough for some background on it besides what the caption says.
Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee was one of the first schools desegregated under court order. On October 5, 1958, the school was bombed by a group opposing integration and the entire building was decimated. During this event, Congressman Kanjorski was a student at Temple University in Pennsylvania. He took the event to heart and wanted to do something to help. He formed the organization Reestablish Education at Clinton High School (REACH) to help raise money at a national collegiate level to rebuild the school, and to show that force and violence are not the means to reach an end. Rather, REACH helped show what can happen when people work together.
As chairman of REACH, Congressman Kanjorski helped raise money at Temple and throughout other college communities by reaching out to students,professors, and administrators at colleges and universities throughout the country. He convinced then Temple University president and one of the founders of Time Inc., Dr. Robert L. Johnson to make one of the first donations to the organization. Johnson; another former Temple president, Harold E. Stassen; Eleanor Roosevelt; former Senator Joseph Clark; and then principal of Clinton High School, W.D. Human, all served as sponsors of REACH. Congressman Kanjorski and REACH helped raise some of the money to rebuild Clinton High School.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kanjo's been collecting money from people for a long time - I wonder what his "handling fee" was for this work?