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Cora Hillery Boggs

Marker is located on Northwest corner of New York and Atlantic Avenues.

Marker text:

1918-1996
A community activist for many years, this longtime Atlantic City resident, born in Philadelphia, was Founder and Executive Director of the "Gild the Ghetto" Youth Development Program, which took local teens off of the streets for weekly work, study, recreation and rap sessions. Mrs. Boggs established that program in the 1970s and ran it for ten years. A member of the local branch of the NAACP Executive Board for many years, Mrs. Boggs also co-founded and formerly presided over the Atlantic City Congress of Community Organizations, an umbrella organization of civic associations from throughout the City. The Congress, under her presidency from 1984-86, was credited, in part, with encouraging the creation of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the agency charged with City and Statewide redevelopment through casino reinvestment funding. In 1989 the Atlantic City Branch of the NAACP honored her for her many years of dedicated community service.

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Additional information:

As Cora Boggs took a walk around Atlantic City one day in 1972, the extent to which the resort had fallen from its earlier glory became extremely apparent to her. It seemed like Atlantic City was spiraling into urban decay, and no one was doing anything to correct it. Boggs, finding this development "disgusting," went to work. Her Gild the Ghetto program, which focused on volunteer work and self-help, conducted a survey of housing conditions in Atlantic City and found that 70 percent of them fell into the substandard category.

As a co-founder of the Atlantic City Congress of Community Organizations, Boggs used her position to fight to change this. For years, she urged affordable housing for Atlantic City residents, combated racism, and opposed measures that she viewed as monetary abuses by City Council.

In addition to membership in the local NAACP branch, Cora Boggs also served a tenure as its Vice President. She firmly believed that racism and poverty were intertwined, and that one led to the other. Speaking of her community activism, Boggs said, "I have a fiery temper when I see people walking on each other. Otherwise I'm a quiet, nice person."

  For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Local History Biography File - Cora Boggs
The Atlantic City Press
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