John Arthur Wilkinson papers documenting the Center for Advocacy, Research, and Planning
Scope and Contents
The John Arthur Wilkinson Papers Documenting the Center for Advocacy, Research, and Planning, donated by Wilkinson in 1994, consist of records which document the administrative and institutional history of the Center for Advocacy, Research and Planning and which offer a detailed view of the workings of a non-profit civil rights legal agency. The collection should prove useful for researchers interested in the history of civil rights and in the socio-economic affairs of minorities in New Haven. CARP's work with dozens of minority interest groups and neighborhood organizations is reflected in extensive correspondence, legal memoranda, proposals, and collected materials. Much of the CARP material also addresses the general topic of African-Americans in the professions, particularly in law and business. There is substantive documentation on housing (discrimination, fair housing, neighborhood advocacy) and educational issues (especially concerning community and technical colleges).
The papers range in date from 1973-1983. They are divided into three series: I. Administrative Files, II. Topical Files, and III. Photographs.
Both Series I and II are arranged alphabetically according to CARP's original office filing system.
Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE FILES, consists of documents pertaining to the administration of the organization. Files on the "Board of Directors," "Executive Director," "Funding Sources," and "Reports" comprise the majority of the series.
For those interested in the organizational history of CARP, the collected minutes and correspondence of the board of directors, contained within the "Meetings" files, offer an inside perspective, and span from 1973 to 1982. There is substantive information on CARP's working concerns: casework, funding, solicitation, personnel, organizational health, and budget. The minutes also offer important insight into CARP's founding and eventual demise.
Other documentation of CARP's case load and organizational life can be found in the "Reports" files and in the proposals to the New Haven Foundation and United Way, under "Funding Sources." The reports present in all of these files provide regular summaries of personnel and budgetary matters, pending cases, new clients, various events arranged or attended by CARP, and a (typically quarterly) financial statement. Other folders in "Funding Sources" include materials that document the extent of CARP's quest for outside monies. In particular, the correspondence with the Aetna Insurance Company and Southern New England Telephone reveals the complexity of the relationship between CARP and its corporate sponsors.
Fleming Norcott's final report as executive director provides a concise summary of CARP's activity through 1979. Other "Executive Director" files include some of the correspondence that flowed in and out of the CARP office from 1980 to 1982. It should be noted that the majority of CARP's correspondence (from 1973 to 1983), is scattered throughout the collection; correspondence with particular organizations/projects is often located in the organization/project file; and other correspondence is found in the "Meetings" files of the board of directors. "History" and "Publicity" files contain items which explain how CARP presented itself to the public and how CARP was regarded by the local media. Most of the cases and topics described in Series I can be explored in further detail in Series II.
Series II, TOPICAL FILES, documents CARP's working concerns, ranging from general issues like affirmative action to specific cases like the bid by the Silver Shields (an African American police organization) for fair treatment by the New Haven Police Department. In addition, there is considerable documentation on CARP's ongoing relationship with dozens of community groups, city and state commissions, and national membership organizations. CARP's standing as a significant player in the New Haven minority community is best represented in the substantial number of files on "Black Organizations," "Community Action Groups and Community Matters," and "New Haven Economics and Development." Among the materials on neighborhood organizations are extensive files on the Hill Central Community, the Newhallville Neighborhood Corporation, and the Dixwell/Newhallville Neighborhood Revitalization Program. There is material on several of CARP's major projects, including a proposed business/technical academy for the area (under "Education") and the organization of a minority economic development conference (under "New Haven Economics and Development"). For those interested in the concerns of African-American professionals, there are folders on the National Bar Association (a minority lawyers' organization), under "Bar associations and legal societies"; several files on individual professional organizations under "Black Organizations"; and folders on the Economic Development Conference, under "New Haven Economics and Development."
Evidence of CARP's presence in city and state politics can be found throughout Series II, particularly in such files as: "Commissions and Committees," "Community action groups and community matters," "Education," "Housing," and "New Haven Economics and Development." Under Clarance Jones in the early 1980s, CARP became increasingly involved in media concerns. CARP's participation on the WTNH-TV Minority Advisory Committee and its high profile response to a 1980 cross burning are documented in the "Media" files.
Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, is comprised of one folder of 8x10 black and white photographic prints. They are undated and unidentified, but appear to be prints of CARP staff members and New Haven neighborhoods.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by John Arthur Wilkinson has been transferred to Yale University. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of John A. Wilkinson, 1994.
The papers are arranged in three series: I. Administrative Files. II. Topical Files. III. Photographs.
6.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes)
Language of Materials
The John Arthur Wilkinson Papers Documenting the Center for Advocacy, Research, and Planning (CARP) document the administrative and institutional history of CARP, and offer a detailed view of the workings of a non-profit civil rights legal agency. CARP's work in the New Haven area with dozens of minority economic interests and neighborhood organizations is reflected in extensive correspondence, legal memoranda, proposals, and collected material. Much of the CARP material also addresses the general topic of African-Americans in the professions, particularly in law and business. There is substantive documentation on housing (discrimination, fair housing, neighborhood advocacy) and educational issues (especially concerning community and technical colleges).
Biographical / Historical
JOHN WILKINSON AND THE CENTER FOR ADVOCACY, RESEARCH AND PLANNING
John Arthur Wilkinson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 30, 1938, and received his B.A., M.A.T., and M.A. degrees from Yale University. Wilkinson was Assistant Dean of Yale College from 1961 to 1968, and was Associate Dean from 1968 to 1974. He served as headmaster of Hopkins School from 1974 to 1979. Wilkinson returned to Yale in 1979, serving as an Officer for Development until 1981, and as Secretary of the university from 1981 to 1987. From 1978 to 1983, Wilkinson served on the board of directors of the Center for Advocacy, Research and Planning (CARP), an organization founded in December 1973 as the legal arm and research agency of the Greater New Haven Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). CARP sought to represent the needs of minorities and the poor through traditional legal process. Separated from the NAACP for tax reasons in 1974, CARP continued to promote the concerns of disadvantaged people until it was disbanded in 1983.
CARP focused its activities on civil rights issues and did significant work in matters of affirmative action, fair housing, and community economic development. Under its first executive director, Fleming Norcott, CARP's docket included efforts on behalf of local African-American policemen in their bid for equal employment opportunities; litigative work to promote a New Haven location of South Central Community College (now Gateway Community-Technical College) and a regional technical vocational college; and representation of the Church Street South community whose housing was threatened by a proposed highway. During Norcott's six-year tenure, the non-profit CARP forged crucial relationships with and secured much of its funding from charitable organizations and corporate sponsors. CARP's board of directors assembled a diverse group of professionals from the New Haven and Yale communities.
In 1979, former Associate Director Clarance Jones assumed leadership, and in the 1980s, CARP produced several affirmative action plans, prepared studies on patients' rights and jury reform, and continued its investigation of the New Haven educational system. CARP also supported and worked with several minority businesses and economic development organizations in order to encourage economic opportunities in New Haven's minority community. Throughout its ten years, CARP maintained a strong presence in the community and in the local media. Lack of support funding, however, required the board of directors and Executive Director Joseph Searles to close the Center for Advocacy, Research and Planning in 1983.
Tenure of CARP Executive Directors
- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
- Fleming Norcott
- Clarance Jones
- Joseph Searles
- Affirmative action programs -- Connecticut
- Affirmative action programs -- United States
- African American lawyers
- African Americans -- Civil rights
- African Americans -- Connecticut
- African Americans -- Employment
- African Americans -- Housing
- Center for Advocacy, Research and Planning (New Haven, Conn.)
- Civil rights
- Community development
- Community organization
- Connecticut -- Social conditions
- Discrimination in employment
- Jones, Clarance
- Minorities -- Housing
- Minorities -- Political activity
- Minority lawyers
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. New Haven Branch
- New Haven (Conn.) -- Civil rights
- New Haven (Conn.) -- Social conditions
- Norcott, Fleming
- Race discrimination -- Law and legislation
- Searles, Joseph
- Technical education
- Urban policy
- Wilkinson, John Arthur, 1938-
- Guide to the John Arthur Wilkinson Papers Documenting the Center for Advocacy, Research, and Planning
- Under Revision
- compiled by Sarah Elisabeth Zurier
- April 1995
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)
Sterling Memorial Library
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511