Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)


The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded by civil rights activist James Farmer in 1942 and was originally a leading civil rights organization that later aligned itself with conservative and anti-environmental groups.

In 1993, James Farmer himself told New York Newsday that “CORE has no functioning chapters; it holds no conventions, no elections, no meetings, sets no policies, has no social programs and does no fund-raising. In my opinion, CORE is fraudulent.” In 1981, CORE was accused of illegal fundraising practices by the state, and Innis was made to pay a settlement. [1]

CORE is now headed by National Chairman and CEO Roy Innis, and now involves itself in environmental issues as well as civil rights. According to their website, CORE‘s mission is to:

“… establish, in practice, the inalienable right for all people to determine their own destiny – to decide for themselves what social and political organizations can operate in their best interest and to do so without gratuitous and inhibiting influence from those whose interest is diametrically opposed to theirs.” [2]

According to a 2005 Mother Jones article by Chris Mooney, CORE spokesperson Niger Innis (Roy’s son) has stated in the past that “the terms ‘eco-imperialism’ and ‘eco-slaughter’ should be household words.” [3]

Stance on Climate Change

According to CEO Roy Innis, who spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6), “We [CORE] believe that the civil rights challenge of our time is to stop extreme environmental policies that drive up the cost of energy and disproportionately hurt low income Americans and the working poor.” [4], [5]

Innis has previously stated that global warming proposals, proposals to limit public access to public lands, and policies that restrict access to America’s abundant energy “are driving up the cost of energy and consumer goods,” which is supposedly having a disproportionate impact on the poor. [6]


The original founder of CORE, James Farmer, and other black leaders accused Roy Innis of “renting out CORE‘s historic reputation to corporations like Monsanto and ExxonMobil.” [1]

According to The Village Voice, regarding funding, “Ethical or moral questions at CORE have been raised as far back as 1976, when the state received complaints that CORE was browbeating companies into donations. In 1981, the state accused CORE of illegal fundraising practices, questioning the way the group represented itself. Under a settlement agreement, Innis, CORE‘s chairman, admitted no wrongdoing, but had to pay $35,000 to CORE out of his own funds. Innis charged racism.” [1]

The Conservative Transparency project breaks doesn CORE‘s funding as follows. See the attached spreadsheet for additional information on CORE funding by year (.xlsx). [22]

Exxon Mobil$310,000
Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation$25,000
The Randolph Foundation$3,000
Grand Total$338,000

ExxonMobil Funding

CORE has received a total of at least $325,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998 for unspecified work as well as activities described as “climate change outreach” and “change regulation/legislation.” [7] Here’s the breakdown:

2003 funding

According to ExxonMobil’s 2003 worldwide contributions report (PDF), CORE received $25,000 for unspecified public policy work and another $15,000 was donated to CORE‘s New York Chapter for “climate change outreach efforts.”

2004 funding

According to ExxonMobil’s 2004 worldwide contributions report (PDF), CORE received $75,000 for”climate change regulation/legislation” and $60,000 for “global climate change issues.”

2005 funding

According to ExxonMobil’s 2005 worldwide contributions report (PDF), CORE received $75,000 for unspecified public policy work.

2006 funding

According to ExxonMobil’s 2006 worldwide contribution report (PDF), CORE received $25,000 for unspecified public policy work.

At the 2004 ExxonMobil shareholder meeting, CORE mounted a counter-campaign against environmentalists staging a protest. At the meeting, CORE spokesperson Niger Innis stated that “we must stop trying to protect it [the planet] from minor or illusory threats—and doing it on the backs, and the graves, of the world’s most powerless and impoverished people.”

990 Forms

Key People

Board of Directors

As of November, 2015, the following Directors were listed on the Congress of Racial Equality’s website:

  • Roy InnisNational Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
  • Niger InnisNational Spokesperson.
  • Robert Dunn — Vice-Chairman.
  • Clarence Jackson — Director, Southern Region.
  • Mary Alice Jones — Director, Western Region.
  • Rev. Eugene Fowler — Board Chaplain.
  • Cyril Boynes, Jr. — Director, International Affairs.
  • James R. Duffy — Counsel to the Chairman.
  • George Holmes — Secretary/Treasurer.
  • Solomon Rooks — Director, Central Region.
  • Alice Collins — Director, Northeast Region.
  • Raymond G. Leffler — General Counsel.
  • Joseph Lovece, Jr. — Special Advisor to the Chairman.

Other People


September 23, 2015

CORE Spokesman Niger Innis spoke with the Heartland Institute’s H. Sterling Burnett on “the disproportionately harmful impacts of President Obama’s anti-fossil-fuel energy policies are having on the poor.” [9]

June 30–July 1, 2011

CORE‘s CEO, Roy Innis, was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC6). [4],[5]

June 2009

CORE‘s Roy Innis sharply criticized the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill, which would establish a “cap and trade” system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Innis said “it was an ‘elitist view’ that higher prices for fossil fuels would prompt conservation and that ‘the poor and working families we represent cannot bear that luxury.’” Innis added, “Americans don’t want ‘energy welfare payments’ from the government to help ease the sting of these government-driven cost increases.” [10]

Innis added, in a statement to Congress, “In my 40-plus years as the chairman of CORE, I have seen few federal bills that would do more harm to America’s working class and low-income citizens and families than the Waxman-Markey climate tax bill.” [21]

March 8–9, 2009

CORE‘s Roy Innis was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) in New York City. [11] 

A piece of Innis’ speech was quoted in The New American: “Coal and natural gas are the new civil rights battleground, because without these sources ‘we’ cannot enjoy this great society.” [11] 

July 2008

CORE launches a pro-drilling campaign in Washington, DC to “Stop the War on the Poor,” whose goal was to “increase U.S. Domestic oil and gas production.” [12

Niger Innis, CORE‘s National Spokesperson, said CORE favors “government spending on oil shale, coal, and drilling on the continental shelf and throughout Alaska.” Innis continued by stating “when these resources are developed … that is going to have a direct impact on the price of fuel.” [12]


CORE ran a pro-genetically modified foods campaign. [13]

According to an archived version of CORE‘s website the pro-GM food campaign was sponsored by ag-food and pesticide giant Monsanto. Here is a screen capture of the CORE site in 2005, where Monsanto is listed as “CORE‘s corporate partner in the quest for bio-tech information.” [14]

In January 2005, Monsanto’s Chairman and CEO, Hugh Grant, chaired CORE‘s celebratory reception in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. A screen shot of the Monsanto photo is archived here.

January 18, 2005

CORE organized what it called the “UN World Conference on Biotechnology.” The closing address for the conference was made by Gerald Steiner, Monsanto’s Executive Vice President. [15]

Roy Innis has penned articles promoting the use of DDT in Africa as a means of saving lives. CORE also opened an office in Uganda and organized pro-DDT rallies. [16], [17]

April 2004

CORE took part in an Earth Day event at the National Press Club in Washington DC warning of “eco-imperialism.” The event was organized by Paul Driessen, the author of the book Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death and a senior policy advisor to CORE[8]

CORE‘s Roy Innis was quoted in the press release announcing the event as saying: “Safeguarding environmental values is essential … But we must stop trying to protect our planet from every imaginable, exaggerated or imaginary risk. And we must stop trying to protect it on the backs, and the graves, of the nation’s and world’s most powerless and impoverished people.” [18]

September 2003

CORE held an awards ceremony at a World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun, where they announced Greenpeace as a recipient of their “Green Power-Black Death” award.

At the ceremony Niger Innis stated: “And the winner is—Greenpeace! For leading million-dollar campaigns against energy, pesticides, biotechnology, trade, and economic development that could improve or save millions of lives.” [19]

CORE Contact & Location

As of June 2016, the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) listed two sets of contact information on its website: [23]

Congress of Racial Equality
730 West Cheyenne Avenue, Suite 150
North Las Vegas, NV 89030

Tel:   (702) 633-4464
Fax: (702) 485-2379
[email protected]

CORE – Congress of Racial Equality  
P.O. Box 264
New York, N.Y.  10276
Tel: (212) 598-4000
Fax: (212) 982-0184


  1. Nick Charles. “Equal Opportunity Scam,” The Village Voice, April 22, 2003. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URL
  2. What Is CORE?” Congress of Racial Equality. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  3. Chris Mooney. “Roy Innis: CORE of the Climate Problem?” Mother Jones, May/June 2005 Issue. Archived November 5, 2015. WebCite URL
  4. Remarks by Roy Innis before the 2011 International Conference on Climate Change,” the CORELATOR, Volume 43, Issue 22 (Summer, 2011). Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  5. ICCC6,” Heartland Institute, June 30-July 1, 2011. Archived October 25, 2015.
  6. Press Release. “Congress of Racial Equality Says Opposition to Climate Change Proposals Rising Due to Unequal Impact on the Poor,” Congress of Racial Equality, April 22, 2008. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  7. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Congress for Racial Equality, CORE. Accessed November 5, 2015.
  8. Paul K. Driessen. “When visions collide,”, January, 2005. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  9. Heartland Daily Podcast – Niger Innis: Why Anti-Fossil-Fuel Policies Harm the Poor Most,” Heartland Institute, September 23, 2015. Archived November 6, 2015.
  10. Renee Schoof, “Climate bill will pass House on Friday, lawmaker predicts,” McClatchy Newspapers, June 2009. Archived November 6, 2015.
  11. CORE Leader Blasts Global-warming Alarmists,” The New American, March 24, 2009. Archived October 25, 2015. *****],[ICCC2,” Heartland Institute, March 8-9, 2009. Archived October 25, 2015.
  12. Congress of Racial Equality,” Sourcewatch
  13. Monsanto Rolls Out Their ‘Fake Parade’ Once Again,” Organic Consumers Association, January 19, 2005. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  14. CORE,” Congress of Racial Equality. Archived February 8, 2005. 
  15. World Conference: Biotechnology ‘Implications & Realities’,” Congress of Racial Equality. Archived January 12, 2005.
  16. Africa Marks Malaria Day; U.S. Rethinking DDT,” Heartland Institute, June 1, 2006. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  17. What’s behind the ‘DDT comeback’?” Pesticide Action Network UK, 2006. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  18. Press Release: “Eco-Imperialism: Reflections on Earth Day,”, April, 2004. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  19. CORE Mocks Environmentalists in Cancun,” The Heartlander, January 1, 2004. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  20. Affordable Power Alliance’s Harry Jackson Attacks Evangelical Environmental Network and EPA,” Talk to Action, October 7, 2011. Archived November 6, 2015. WebCite URL
  21. Mannix Porterfield, “Byrd remains ‘bullish’ on coal’s future: Cap bill worries Sen. Rockefeller,” The Register-Herald (West Virginia), June 29, 2009. WebCite URL
  22. Congress of Racial Equality,” Conservative Transparency. Data retrieved June 8, 2016.
  23. Contact CORE,” Congress of Racial Equality. Archived June 10, 2016. WebCite URL:

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