Washington Heights Civic Organization Archives

Dates: 1968-2003
Size: 1 linear foot
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628



Provenance: Donated by Dr. John Hayes and Garnett Collins, March 2003
Access: No restrictions

When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is:

Washington Heights Civic Organization Archives, [Box #, Folder #], Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature

Processed by: Beverly Cook, Archivist, April 2021

Historical Note

Washington Heights Civic Organization (WHCO) was a member of the Organizations for the Southwest Communities areas. It was organized in 1966 to serve residents in southern part of the Washington Heights neighborhood. This organization does not include the northern half of the area designated Washington Heights because the Dan Ryan expressway became the unofficial barrier between the white and African American communities.

John Hayes was one of the fifteen residents who helped form the WHCO. In October 1968 Ralston Reid Hayes, Chicago Public Schools teacher, became the first WHCO president.

WHCO revamped its constitution and bylaws and elected a ten-member executive board which included 4 vice presidents. Some of the issues it fought was the overcrowding of schools like Fernwood Elementary School, adequate streetlights and traffic signs and to campaign for more businesses to replace those that had left the community. They held annual fundraisers like the Fall Extravaganza to raise monies for the school fiscal year and to stimulate community spirit and support.

Scope and Content

These files contain newsletters, correspondence, legal documents and the organization’s constitution and by-laws. They also contain files on the community’s fight with the Chicago Board of Education to name a new area school after Marcus Garvey. During construction and its first year, this school was known as “the school at 103rd and Morgan,” and unofficially, “the No Name School.” By March 1974, it officially became the Marcus Garvey Elementary School.


This collection is arranged in 4 series: Administrative Records, Organizations, Marcus Garvey School and Newspaper Clippings. All 4 series are in chronological order.

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1967-1977

This series contain the administrative records of the Washington Heights Civic Organization. It is in chronological order.

Series 2: Other Organizations, 1968-1984

This series contains three sub-series: Organizations, Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago. It is in chronological order.

Series 3: Marcus Garvey School, 1968-1985

This series contain the community’s effort to get the school built and named. It is in chronological order.

Series 4: Newspaper Clippings, 1968-2003, undated

It is arranged in chronological order.

Related Materials

Related materials at the Chicago Public Library include:

Container List

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1967-1977

Box 1 Folder 1 Request for stoplight at 101st and Halsted, 1967
Box 1 Folder 2 Washington Heights Community Organization (WHCO) files, 1968
Box 1 Folder 3 WHCO files, 1969
Box 1 Folder 4 WHCO files, 1970
Box 1 Folder 5 WHCO files, 1971
Box 1 Folder 6 Washington Heights Community Organization by-laws, undated
Box 1 Folder 7 WHCO membership list, undated
Box 1 Folder 8 WHCO membership list, undated
Box 1 Folder 9 WHCO membership ledger and committees, undated
Box 1 Folder 10 WHCO contributors list, undated
Box 1 Folder 11 Picketing of construction site at 10054 S. Carpenter, 1970
Box 1 Folder 12 Greater Roseland Organization Health Fair, 1970
Box 1 Folder 13 Brothers Enterprises request for zoning approval, 1970
Box 1 Folder 14 Organization for the Southwest Communities (OSC), 1969-1970
Box 1 Folder 15 Washington Heights Citizens Patrol, 1972
Box 1 Folder 16 Crosstown expressway correspondence, 1977

Series 2: Other Organizations, 1968-1984

Sub-series 1: Organizations, 1968-1970

Box 1 Folder 17 Southsiders’ Investment Club, 1968
Box 1 Folder 18 MUCH-Musikanton Company complaint, 1970

Sub-series 2: Chicago Board of Education, 1970-1984, undated

Box 1 Folder 19 Recommendations of Committee to study board procedures, Board of Education, 1970
Box 1 Folder 20 Chicago Board of Education plan to integrate school facilities, 1970
Box 1 Folder 21 Citizens Information Service of Illinois/Board of Education, 1971
Box 1 Folder 22 Fernwood School Education Council, 1971
Box 1 Folder 23 Concerned Parents of Fernwood, 1972
Box 1 Folder 24 Fenger and Harlan High School education councils, 1971-1972
Box 1 Folder 25 Guidelines for Principle Nominating Committee, 1973
Box 1 Folder 26 Notes on “Supervision for Better School,” Kimball Wiles, circa 1975
Box 1 Folder 27 District 18 Education Council, 1984
Box 1 Folder 28 Fragment, schools evaluation questionnaire, undated

Sub-series 3: City of Chicago, 1974-1975

Box 1 Folder 29 Chicago Housing Authority application to HUD for federal assistance, circa 1974
Box 1 Folder 30 Community Development Plan, 1975

Series 3: Marcus Garvey School, 1968-1985

Box 1 Folder 31 Marcus Garvey school information, 1968
Box 1 Folder 32 Marcus Garvey school information, 1969
Box 1 Folder 33 Marcus Garvey school information, 1970
Box 1 Folder 34 Marcus Garvey school information, 1972
Box 1 Folder 35 Marcus Garvey school information, 1973
Box 1 Folder 36 Marcus Garvey school information, 1974
Box 1 Folder 37 Marcus Garvey school information, 1974
Box 1 Folder 38 Marcus Garvey school dedication, 1974
Box 1 Folder 39 Marcus Garvey school information, 1984
Box 1 Folder 40 Principle selection committee, Marcus Garvey, 1984
Box 1 Folder 41 Principle selection committee report, circa 1984-1985

Series 4: Newspaper Clippings, 1968-2003, undated

Box 1 Folder 42 Newspaper clippings, 1968
Box 1 Folder 43 Newspaper clippings, 1969
Box 1 Folder 44 Newspaper clippings, 1970
Box 1 Folder 45 Newspaper clippings, 1971
Box 1 Folder 46 Newspaper clippings, 1973
Box 1 Folder 47 Newspaper clippings, 1974
Box 1 Folder 48 Newspaper clippings, 2003
Box 1 Folder 49 Newspaper clippings, undated
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