Robert Parris Moses (born Harlem, New York, January 23, 1935, usually known as Bob Moses) is an American Harvard-trained educator who joined the civil rights movement and later founded the nationwide U.S. Algebra project.
By 1964 Moses had become Co-Director of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), an umbrella organization for the major civil rights groups then working in Mississippi. He was a leading SNCC figure, and the main organizer of COFO's Freedom Summer project, which was intended to end racial disfranchisement. Mississippi's 1890 constitution included requirements for voter registration, such as poll taxes, residency requirements, and literacy tests, which had long made it nearly impossible for blacks to register and vote. Because the literacy tests were subjectively administered by white voter registrars, even well-educated blacks had often been refused registration on literacy grounds. By the 1960s, many blacks did not bother to try to register. Moses was instrumental in the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, a group that challenged the regular Democratic Party delegates from the state at the party's 1964 convention.
When Stokely Carmichael became SNCC president in 1966, the organization turned toward advocating black power. A disillusioned Moses quit the group. He then temporarily changed his name to Bob Parris and moved to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft. After getting remarried, Moses moved to Eastern Africa. From 1969-1975, Moses worked as a teacher in Tanzania. In 1976 he returned to Harvard and completed a doctorate in philosophy, after which he taught high school math in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 2005, Moses was selected as one of twelve inaugural Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellows by the Fletcher Foundation, which awards substantial grants to scholars and activists working on civil rights issues. In 2006, Moses was named a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor at Cornell University.