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Northern Student Movement
Founded 1961
Founder Peter J. Countryman
Dissolved 1966?
Type Civil rights organization
Focus Tutoring 3,500 inner city youth in northeastern cities (1963); later sent students to sit-ins in the South and organized direct-action protests in the North.
Origins Conference of the New England Student Christian Movement (1961)
Method Volunteerism, education, community organizing
Key people
Peter J. Countryman
William L. Strickland
50 (1963)
2,200 (1963)
External image NSM veterans Bill Strickland, Frank Joyce and Joan Cannaday Countryman in a 2010 panel discussion in Raleigh, N.C., sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

The Northern Student Movement (NSM) was an American civil rights organization founded at Yale University in 1961 by Peter J. Countryman (1942–1992). It grew out of the work of a committee formed by the New England Student Christian Movement.[1] Its initial convention, the Inter-Collegiate Conference on Northern Civil Rights, was held at Sarah Lawrence College in April 1962.[2]

Countryman began NSM's work by collecting books for a predominantly African-American college and raising funds for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He then turned to organizing tutoring programs for inner city youth in northeastern cities. By 1963, NSM was reported to be helping as many as 3,500 children using 2,200 student volunteers from 50 colleges and universities.[3] NSM also encouraged direct-action protests, sending volunteers to sit-ins in the South and organizing rent strikes in the North.[1][4][5]

Originally headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, NSM moved to New York City.[6] Countryman stepped down as NSM's executive director in 1963 and was replaced by William L. Strickland.[7]

The records of the Northern Student Movement, including a complete run of its periodical, Freedom North, are on file with the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division of the New York Public Library.[7]

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