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Conrad Walter Worrill

Conrad Walter Worrill was born on August 15, 1941, in Pasadena, California. His mother, Anna Bell, was the first African American to sing in the Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra and his father, Walter, was a college-educated YMCA manager. Conrad Worrill became an activist and scholar whose goal is to advance the cause and concept of African independence and self-determination both in the United States and internationally.

After moving to Chicago on his ninth birthday, Worrill became serious about athletics. He gained his first racial consciousness through competitive swimming when his black YMCA team faced serious heckling. In 1962, he was drafted into the Army and shipped to Okinawa, Japan. While overseas, he read profusely about African American history, culture and politics. After he returned to Chicago in 1963, Worrill attended George Williams College but became radicalized by the Black Power movement. After graduating in 1968, a West Side YMCA hired him as the program director. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He headed George Williams College's Urban Institute in 1973 and began teaching at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 1976, where he is the coordinator and professor of Inner City Studies Education. While organizing in 1983 to elect Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington, Worrill co-founded the Task Force for Black Political Empowerment. As the national chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF), Worrill is working aggressively to change the American public school curriculum to be inclusive of the contributions of Africans and African Americans.

Worrill is the elected economic development commissioner of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA). He served as special consultant of field operations for the historic Million Man March/ Day of Absence on October 16, 1995, in Washington, D.C. As part of the fight to win reparations for the American descendants of slaves, he traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1997 with a delegation to formally charge the U.S. Government with genocide and human right violations before the Commission on Human Rights. The delegation presented the commission with a "Declaration of Genocide by the United States Government Against the Black Population in the United States" with 157,000 signatures.

Upon returning to the United States, Worrill presented this petition to the United Nations in New York City. In 2001, he led a 400-member delegation to the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. He writes the syndicated weekly column "Worrill's World," which is widely read in African American newspapers across the country. In August 2002, Worrill organized a national reparations rally attended by thousands.

Accession Number

A2002.144

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/13/2002

12/15/2009

Last Name

Worrill

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Walter

Schools

Pacific Oaks Children's School

John Farren Elementary School

William H. Ray Elementary School

Hyde Park Academy High School

Pasadena City College

Malcolm X College

Central YMCA College

George Williams College of Aurora University

University of Chicago

University of Wisconsin-Madison

First Name

Conrad

Birth City, State, Country

Pasedena

HM ID

WOR01

State

California

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/15/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and african american studies professor Conrad Walter Worrill (1941 - ) is a reparations leader and chair of the National Black United Front. He traveled with a delegation to Geneva, Switzerland in 1997 to formally charge the U.S. Government with genocide and human right violations before the Commission on Human Rights.

Employment

U.S. Steel

Sears YMCA

United States Army

George Williams College

Northeastern Illinois University

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Conrad Worrill interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Conrad Worrill's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Conrad Worrill details his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Conrad Worrill gives his brother's name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Conrad Worrill recounts his parents' courtship and early marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Conrad Worrill recalls his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Conrad Worrill remembers his father's early career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Conrad Worrill describes race relations in the Pasadena, California of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Conrad Worrill recalls his family's move to Chicago and his traumatic elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Conrad Worrill recounts his involvement in sports at the Wabash YMCA in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Conrad Worrill illustrates his family's relationship with Jackie Robinson

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Conrad Worrill talks about his family's relationship with Jackie Robinson

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Conrad Worrill recalls some of the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Conrad Worrill lists his childhood role models

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Conrad Worrill details his involvement in high school sports

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Conrad Worrill remembers DuSable High School winning the state basketball championship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Conrad Worrill provides the socio-political context of his senior year of high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Conrad Worrill recounts his wild college years

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Conrad Worrill provides the socio-political context of his college years

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Conrad Worrill discusses his rising awareness of Civil Rights issues

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Conrad Worrill recalls his experiences in Army basic training

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Conrad Worrill relates his overseas experience in the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Conrad Worrill recounts his efforts to be productive after returning from the Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Conrad Worrill talks about his decision to finish college after his return from the military

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Conrad Worrill explains how he got involved in social work

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Conrad Worrill recalls his entree into political activism with Fred Hampton

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Conrad Worrill discusses his involvement in Black Power

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Conrad Worrill details how he gave the Sears YMCA back to the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Conrad Worrill remembers being courted by other social service organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Conrad Worrill recalls Catalyst's impact on the black community in Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Conrad Worrill describes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s relationship to Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Conrad Worrill recalls the assassination of Fred Hampton and C. T. Vivian's 'Black Curfew' declaration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Conrad Worrill lists the social service programs funded as a result of unrest in the Chicago black community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Conrad Worrill recounts his experiences in graduate school and community organizing

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Conrad Worrill details the political context of his graduate school years

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Conrad Walter Worrill's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls his work at the YMCA during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Conrad Walter Worrill remembers the black consciousness movement

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls enrolling at the University of Chicago

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about working on his first political campaign

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Conrad Walter Worrill remembers the assassination of Fred Hampton

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls joining the Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes Black Nationalist activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Conrad Walter Worrill remembers Charles O. Ross, Jr.

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls the development of Communiversity

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about the start of the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes the history of the Abraham Lincoln Center in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes the history of the Abraham Lincoln Center in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls working at George Williams College

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about accepting a professorship at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes the Communiversity activities at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes the Communiversity activities at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about the conflicts between Marxism and nationalism in the Pan African movement

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes socialist theories

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes the founding of the National Black United Front

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes the National Black Independent Political Party

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about the activities of the National Black Independent Political Party in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls the contention against Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls rallying Chicago leaders to support mayoral candidate Harold Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls rallying Chicago leaders to support mayoral candidate Harold Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Conrad Walter Worrill describes a flyer used in Harold Washington's campaign

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls the community support of Harold Washington

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about Mayor Harold Washington's accomplishments

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Conrad Walter Worrill recalls the death of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about the Free South Africa movement

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about campaigns against genocide in Africa

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about social and racial issues of the 20th century

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Conrad Walter Worrill talks about books on African American history