Four student activists request King's endorsement of an "Enroll for Freedom” campaign designed to encourage students and youth to participate in the civil rights struggle and to ‘‘accept the challenge and responsibility of building a really free America.” King's reply has not been located, but King may have agreed to serve as honorary chairman of the “Enroll for Freedom” campaign.1
Dear Reverend King,
December 5th marks the first anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On that date IN FRIENDSHIP, an organization which has done much to aid the victims of racism, is sponsoring a concert at Manhattan Center in New York to commemorate this heroic struggle for dignity and for civil rights and to raise money for the Montgomery Improvement Association.
Among the many groups working for this program are students and youth who feel that it is our obligation to play a more effective role in the fight for civil rights. Arising out of this project, therefore, a student committee has been formed to launch an “ENROLL FOR FREEDOM” campaign on the college campus. We propose to present the names we collect to President Eisenhower on Lincoln’s birthday as an expression of support to this momentous struggle for equality. Further details on the project are enclosed.
As an outstanding leader of your generation in the field of civil rights, we are asking you to help our generation by endorsing this campaign. It is our hope that the youth of this country will, through our efforts, become aware of their stake in civil rights and will accept the challenge and responsibility of building a really free America.
William Lusk, Columbia University
Marjorie Gettleman, CCNY
Naomi Friedman, Brooklyn College
Sheila [Navarick] , Sarah Lawrence
1. A later FBI report stated that King was honorary chairman of the campaign, which the bureau believed “was actually started by the Young Socialist League” (see J. Edgar Hoover to Herbert Brownell, 14 April 1958, in Centers of the Southern Struggle: FBI Files on Montgomery, Albany, St. Augustine, Selma, and Memphis, ed. David J. Garrow [Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America], reel 2).
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.