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Walter E. Fauntroy papers, part 2

Identifier: MS2310

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains correspondence, news releases, booklets, articles, brochures, statements, meeting files, briefing books, memorabilia, newsletters, photographs, negatives, slides, bills, and hearing files. These materials date from 1941-90 with the bulk of the records falling between 1960-90.

This collection of materials was generated during thirty-nine years of community, religious and political service. Fauntroy was an advocate of civil and political rights. A former congressman, Fauntroy served the people of the District of Columbia through various roles. Since 1959, Fauntroy has been the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church. His exceptional leadership in community affairs led Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to appoint Fauntroy as the director of the Washington D.C. Bureau of SCLC. Through this position, he served as the coordinator of various historic events associated with the organization such as the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Fauntroy was the first vice chairman appointed to the Washington DC Council. After years of promoting voting rights and representation for citizens of the District, Fauntroy served as the representative of Washington, D.C. in the United States Congress for twenty years. He was an advocate of urban renewal in the District of Columbia, and was a founder and director of the Shaw Urban Renewal Project and the Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO).

By donating his papers to GWU, Fauntroy has enabled decades of community service through a collaboration of religious, civil and political activity to be treasured, researched and used for various educational purposes.

Fauntroy did not place any restrictions on the use of his papers. All rights and interests were transferred to the Department of Special Collections. In 1998, GWU retained The History Factory to organize, preserve and describe a select portion of his papers in anticipation of using some of the materials in the Library's exhibit on the 35th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.


  • 1940-1990
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1990


Biographical/Historical note

Walter E. Fauntroy was born in Washington, D.C. on February 6, 1933. He graduated from Dunbar High School in 1952 and received his Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Union University in 1955. He earned a bachelor of divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1958. In 1959, he began his career in public service through his appointment as pastor of his childhood church, New Bethel Baptist Church. He served as pastor from 1959 until his retirement in 2009.

An advocate of civil rights, Fauntroy served as a leader in the civil rights movement. In 1960, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), appointed Fauntroy director of the Washington Bureau of SCLC. He remained in that position until 1971. As a director of SCLC, Fauntroy coordinated many historic events, including events leading up to the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In 1968, he served as the national coordinator of the Poor People's Campaign.

Fauntroy utilized his civil rights experience to promote urban redevelopment within the District of Columbia. He founded and served as the director of the Shaw Urban Renewal Project, and along with other Washington ministers, founded the Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO), a neighborhood planning corporation. Fauntroy's active community involvement led to his first political position as the first vice chairman appointed to the District of Columbia Council in 1967. In 1969, Fauntroy resigned from the D.C. Council in order to focus more attention toward MICCO. Fauntroy's community service efforts and promotion of civil rights led him to work towards achieving rights for District residents. He became a vocal advocate for voting rights and representation within the District.

In 1970, Congress passed the Delegate Act enabling citizens of Washington D.C. to have representation in the United States House of Representatives. Subsequently in 1971, D.C residents elected Fauntroy to represent the District. Strongly supporting the right for full representation of the District, Fauntroy immediately began a legislative campaign in support of home rule. As a result, in 1973 the District of Columbia Self-Government and Government Reorganization Act became law. D.C. citizens were given the authority to elect a mayor and a city council. Fauntroy served in Congress for twenty years (1971-1991). He worked on many committees such as the Committee on the District of Columbia, the Committee Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing, and the Committee on Banking and Currency. He also was part of the select committees on Assassinations, Narcotics and Control. He was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Congressional Committee, and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

During his tenure in Congress, Fauntroy chaired several committees, such as the District of Columbia Committee's Subcommittee on Fiscal Affairs. While serving on the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, he chaired the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and International Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy as well as a number of other subcommittees. He also served as the chairman for the CBC. Fauntroy utilized these committees to establish legislation in support of statehood for the District of Columbia. He founded the National Black Leadership Roundtable (NBLR), a network created under the auspices of the CBC, in support of domestic leadership. The "Free South Africa Movement" (FSAM) and the Congressional Task Force on Haiti serve as examples of Fauntroy's active involvement in international affairs. Under the direction of Fauntroy, NBLR developed and published The Black Leadership Family Plan for the Unity, Survival and Progress of Black People, and the Congressional Task Force on Haiti created United States policies that supported democracy, human rights promotion and economic development in Haiti.

The D.C. community has recognized and honored Fauntroy for his exemplary service. His alma maters awarded him with honorary doctor of divinity degrees. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center for his leadership bringing the right to vote to the citizens of the District of Columbia. After delivering the Charter Day Convocation speech at Howard University in 1988, he was awarded the university's doctor of laws degree.


715.5 Cubic feet

Language of Materials



Collection contains correspondence, news releases, booklets, articles, brochures, statements, meeting files, briefing books, memorabilia, newsletters, photographs, negatives, slides, bills, and hearing files documenting the life and activities of civil rights activist Walter F. Fauntroy. These materials date from 1941-1990 with the bulk of the records falling between 1960-1990.

Arrangement note

Folders maintained in orginal order.

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Walter E. Fauntroy, 1990.

Separated Materials

Plaques, and medals, presented to Walter Fauntroy. Due to storage limitations these items were separated from the collection. The information presented on the plaques and medals are retained in this note.

National Association of Real Estate Brokers Appreciation Award; Dallas, TX; August 14th, 1986;

Mississippi State University Keynote Speaker, Black Awareness Month; February 9th, 1989;

Resolution, Council of the District of Columbia: recognition of service; May 15th, 1984;

Man of the Year Award: The Men of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Lockland, Ohio; September 17th, 1972;

Humanitarian Award; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Pontiac Alumni Chapter; May 21st, 1988;

Award of Recognition; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumni Chapter of Germany; August 24th, 1985;

Distinguished Service Award; Cocoa-Rockledge Civic League; October 30th, 1981;

Educational Session Leader Alpha Kappa Alpha Fifty-First National Meeting; Washington, D.C. July, 1984;

Special Award: Founder of the Annual Congressional Dinner and Outstanding Contributions; April 16th, 1986;

Recognition for enactment of H.R. 6223: Blue Cross Blue Shield of the National Capital Area; undated;

Annual Achievement Award: New Jersey State Association and Auxiliary of Elks Annual Achievement Award; June 22nd, 1984;

“In Great Appreciation” Keynote Speaker: The Buy Liberty Fundraising Dinner; September 25, 1986;

Special Recognition: Ohio House of Representatives; undated; Grambling State University; lost placard

For Dedication and Contribution in Our Fight For Civil and Human Rights: National Union of Security Officers, Coalition Investigating Committee; February 25th, 1978;

Man of the Year: Glenarden, Maryland; 1967;

Honorary Membership: Federal Employee Association; January 15th, 1975;

Award of Recognition: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 62nd Grand Chapter Meeting; Chicago, IL; August 5-10th, 1979;

Man of the Year Award: Youth of Washington, D.C.; June 22, 1971; Special Service Award: United Black Fund; 1985;

Outstanding Achievement: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Alpha Sigma Chapter; February 25th, 1985;

Citizen of the Year: Kappa Alpha Psi Eta Nu Chapter; undated; Appreciation Award: Southeastern University; April 28th, 1983;

Appreciation of Contributions to G.A. Tech’s Black Awareness Week: Kappa Alpha Sigma Lambda Delta Chapter; 1983;

Appreciation for Contributions to First Annual Black History Month Celebration: Blacks in Government William D Barber Jr. Chapter Environmental Protection Agency; February 17th, 1983;

Outstanding Citizen Award: District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce; Washington, D.C.; April 5th, 1969;

Outstanding Service in the Model Cities Truancy Prevention Program: Hospitality House; Washington, D.C.; 1971;

King of Capitol Hill 60 Yd. Dash; University of Maryland; September 20-21, 1975;

Certificate of Appreciation: The Exchange Club of Capitol Hill; September 6th, 1989;

Guest Speaker Award: Seymour Johnson Air Force Base; North Carolina; March 23rd, 1989;

Key to the City: Flint, Michigan; January 18, 1990;

Appreciation: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, San Diego Alumni Chapter; May 10, 1985;

Appreciation: Gadsden Chapter of the SCLC; January 7th, 1990; Key to the City; Anniston, AL;; undated;

In Recognition: Black Student Alliance, Muskegon Community College; February 17th, 1984;

Appreciation for Contribution to the Emergency Student Loan Fund: Meharry Medical College 4th Annual Pre-Alumni Ball; 1989;

Keynote Speaker Award: National Association of Black Accountants Detroit Chapter Scholarship Ball; 1982;

Outstanding Achievement: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Flint Alumni Chapter; Flint, Michigan; January 14th, 1985;

Meritorious Service to Humanity: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Wilmington Alumni Chapter; January 11th, 1990.

Outstanding Service: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Berkley Alumni Chapter; May 1985;

Certificate of Achievement: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Anniston-Piedmont Alumni Chapter; October 6th, 1989;

Distinguished Service Award: The Conference of Minority Public Administrators; February 16th, 1982;

Man of the Year: Pi Omicron Rho Omega Sorority of N.P.A Alpha Kappa Chapter; 1971;

Centennial Award: Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ; 1977

Appreciation: H Street North East Business Community Association; October 18th, 1974;

Outstanding Service: The Students of The Excelsior Music Studio; June 2nd, 1974;

Appreciation: National Committee on Household Employment; October 8th, 1972;

Recognition of Service: Northeast Region Alpha Pi Chi Sorority Inc.; Washington, D.C.; February 1st, 1975;

Contributions in Uniting Brotherhood for All Americans: The Com-Bin-Nations 1972;

Distinguished Citizen Award: Home Mission Board P.N.B.C.; August 5th, 1981;

For his Concern and Outstanding Support of The Citizens of Dade County: SCLC; November 16th, 1981;

Recognition of Service: Inner City Branches of the YMCA of Philadelphia, PA; January 23rd, 1977;

Appreciation: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Iota Pi Chapter February 4th, 1986;

Recognition of Accomplishments: Southwest Neighborhood Assembly; Washington, D.C.; February 22nd, 1989;

Recognition for Contributions to Rap-In-Time 1977;

Poem: the Man Who Dares; Community Service Award: The Board Staff of United Way United Black Fund Management Services Inc. June 28th, 1989;

Recognition of Achievements: Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. Goldsboro Alumni Chapter February 24th, 1989;

Honor for Democratic Leadership: District of Columbia Democratic State Committee May 2nd, 1985;

Appreciation for Leadership: Kappa Alpha Psi Epsilon Psi Chapter; April 24th, 1986;

Special Appreciation Award: The Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO; March 2nd, 1985;

Outstanding and Dedicated Leadership: Black Government Workers Association October 6th, 1989;

Commemorative Gavel, Democratic National Convention; Atlanta, GA July 18-21st, 1988;

Commemorative Gavel: Tuskegee University Pre-Law Society 1987-1988;

Commemorative Cup: Kappa Alpha Psi Akron/Canton Alumni Chapter February 21, 1984;

Certificate of Appreciation presented to the honorable Rev. Walter E Fauntroy, for outstanding and dedicated service to God and Canaan Baptist Church, Nov. 21, 1976;

Plaque in dedication to Congressman Reverend Walter E Fauntroy a messenger of God in appreciation for service to Sister Grace L. Paige and The Lorton Prayer service group presented to Honorable and Mrs. Walter E Fauntroy for your staunch support of Phyllis Wheatley YMCA, Inc. May 5, 1974

Plaque in appreciation to the Honorable Walter E Fauntroy, Anacostia Sr. HS class of 1981, Thanks Trina R. Powell, Kimberly L Reid

Walter E Fauntroy, in appreciation for outstanding service to offenders and ex-offenders, EFEC 1972


The following trophies were removed from the collection.

"The Four of Us" 2nd Place, donated by Maccullum Gulf, 1984

11th Annual Fauntroy Family Picnic, 2nd Place, 1989

"Winner" Mayor Barry's City Slickers & Congressman Fauntroy's Family, 1983

9th Annual Fauntroy Family Picnic, 1987

"Fauntroy 554's" September 3, Congressman Fauntry's Annual Family Day Championship Trophy, 1979

8th Annual Fauntroy Family Picnic "Little League Champion", 1986

Guy Draper Memorial Day Picnic, Baseball, 1987

vSheild Trophy, Engraved: "Rev. Walter E Fauntroy for his Dedication and Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Civil and Human Rights." Presented by The Ganguards, INC. March 17, 1967

Processing Information

This collection does not always use consecutive box numbers. For example the collection has a box 1 but does not have a box 2. Box two is not missing it does not exist. There are other examples of numbers not in use throughout the collection.

Reparative Description Project

This finding aid was revised in September through November 2022 to address derogatory descriptive language related to disability and mental illness terminology identified in numerous folder titles. As this description was provided by the record creator(s) the description was not edited or removed, but additional information was provided in an Historic Context note at each folder level in order to add context. A copy of the finding aid prior to these reivsions was retained. To view that finding aid please use Pre-revision Feb. 2022 finding aid of Walter Fauntroy papers Part II/extref>

Folder inventory to the Walter E. Fauntroy papers, part 2, 1940-1970
Folder Inventory
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by D.C. Africana Archives Project
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
This collection was processed as part of the D.C. Africana Archives Project, a grant initiative of the George Washington University Libraries supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America