Stan Shaw was born on August 18, 1943 to Sue and Leonard Shaw in Utica, NY. He grew up in Cambria Heights, Queens, and studied at Queens College, City University of New York, where he received his B.A. in Sociology and Education in 1965. During the 1962-1963 school year, Shaw served as Chairman of the Queens College Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) ; he went on to serve as Chairman of the Queens College Student Help Project from January 1963 through January 1964.
The Student Help Project was established by Queens College CORE, the Queens College Chapter of the National Student Association (NSA), and Queens College education majors and professors. The Project comprised two initiatives: the provision of free tutoring services to schoolchildren in South Jamaica, Queens and in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Shaw was a founder of the Jamaica program and one of several coordinators of the Virginia project.
Prince Edward County, Virginia was a focal point in the fight for racial equality in education. In 1951, Barbara Johns, a black student in Prince Edward County, led her classmates in a strike for a better school. With the help of the NAACP, Johns and her classmates filed a desegregation lawsuit that became one of four cases that made up the historic Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In 1959, Prince Edward County de-funded and closed their public schools rather than comply with court mandated integration. This development was part of Virginia’s policy of “Massive Resistance” to desegregation. The Prince Edward County public school system would not re-open until 1964.
During the spring of 1963, Shaw tutored students in South Jamaica, Queens; by the fall of 1963, over 220 Queens College students had volunteered in the program. During the summer of 1963, the Virginia Student Help Project, under the direction of faculty members Dr. Rachel Weddington and Dr. Sidney Simon, sent sixteen student tutors, including Shaw, to Farmville, the Prince Edward County seat. Stan Shaw and Michael Wenger were awarded the B’nai B’rith Human Relations Award in May 1964 for their work with the Student Help Project.
Shaw enjoyed a distinguished career in special education, serving as a researcher, professor, and policy advocate. He received an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado (1968) and an Ed.D. in Special Education and Disadvantaged Youth from the University of Oregon (1971). He is a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut and a Senior Research Scholar and Associate Director at the Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability.
(1) Shaw began as Chairman of the Queens College Chapter of the NAACP, but decided to change the group’s affiliation to CORE part way through the year.
The Stan Shaw Collection documents his experiences as a coordinator and tutor with the Queens College Student Help Project. The bulk of the collection dates from 1963 to 1964 and includes a diary, press releases, reports, printed material, photographs and a poster. The collection provides evidence of the Student Help Project’s tutoring initiatives in Queens, New York and Prince Edward County, Virginia. More broadly, the collection documents of the 1960s civil rights movement and the fight for racial justice in the United States.
The collection is arranged topically and by format.
Collection is open for research. Staff may restrict access at its discretion on the basis of physical condition.
The Stan Shaw Collection is physically owned by the Queens College Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assignees. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Queens College assumes no responsibility for the infringement of copyrights held by the original authors, creators, or producers of materials.
Rosalind Andrews Collection, Queens College
Phyllis Padow-Sederbaum Collection, Queens College
Michael Wenger Collection, Queens College
Debby Yaffe Collection, Queens College
Civil rights movements -- Virginia -- Prince Edward County
Congress of Racial Equality
Prince Edward County (V.A.) -- History
Segregation in education -- Virginia -- Prince Edward County
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
item, date (if known), box, folder, Stan Shaw Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York.
Donated by Stan Shaw in 2009.