CO history research opportunity

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Thu Nov 1 19:43:13 CST 2001

From: Peter Dreier <dreier at>


Those of you who teach community organizing, or about 
community organizing, or about social movements, might be 
interested in a fantastic research opportunity: writing a biography of 
Fred Ross, the legendary organizer who was an Alinsky colleague 
and who "discovered" and trained Cesar Chavez. There are 
significant references to Ross in various biographies of Chavez and 
in Sanford Horwitt's biography of Alinsky (LET THEM CALL ME 
REBEL), but Ross deserves a full-scale biography of his own. He 
lives a fascinating life and was in the middle of many of the major 
struggles of the 20th century. Fortunately, Ross's papers are now 
available at Stanford University, many of his coworkers are still 
alive, and his son, Fred Ross Jr., also a long-time organizer who 
lives in the Bay Area and works for SEIU, is eager to be helpful to 
someone who wants to undertake this project, in terms of making 
the necessary contacts with people who knew his father and helping 
to explain the papers and Ross' life-and-times. Perhaps the project 
would begin with an article about Ross and then expand into a full-
scale biography.  This would be a great project for a professor, an 
independent scholar, or a Master's or PhD. thesis in history, 
political science, sociology, social work (community organizing 
emphasis), ethnic and Latino studies, or religious studies. If you are 
interested, know a student who might be interested, or know 
someone else who might be interested in pursuing this project, I 
encourage you to forward this message to them or contact Fred 
Ross Jr., who can be reached via email at: rossf at  

Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier
Dr. E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics
Director, Urban & Environmental Policy Program
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute
Occidental College
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Phone: (323) 259-2913
FAX: (323) 259-2734

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