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Name of Creator:Gopen, Martin Neal.
Title:Martin Neal Gopen papers
Date: 1933-1994 (bulk 1969-1989)
Reference Code:M133
Location Code: 57/1
Extent:3 cubic ft. (3 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The Martin Neal Gopen papers document his professional and volunteer social justice work. Records consist of photographs, minutes of various boards, and personal and professional correspondence. Also included in the collection are weekly columns he wrote for the Bay State Banner entitled Job Scene. Of special interest is a copy of a letter to Mel King written from the KKK threatening him because of his social justice work and a letter from Michael Dukakis thanking Gopen for supplying him with literature on the state's minority hiring policy.
Historical Abstract: Martin Neal Gopen was born August 13, 1934 and died on June 18th, 2006 spending the majority of this life in the South End of Boston, MA. During that time he worked as a political activist, and advocate for underserved communities. He attended Northeastern University (1950-1952), but earned his undergraduate (1955-1960) and graduate (1960-1961) degrees from Boston University. He served in the US Army from 1951-1953 when he was honorably discharged. He was involved in numerous social justice organization boards that served minorities and women, including the Tent City Corporation and the Institute of Affirmative Action. He also worked with South End community organizations, including United South End Settlements; Urban League; as campaign manager for Mel King; and with the Boston Fair Housing Commission, the Boston Housing Authority, and the Massachusetts Port Authority. He was awarded the 1988 Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Award at the 3rd annual Rainbow Leadership banquet, the 1990 Saco-Vanzetti Award from the Community Church of Boston, and the 1991 Action for Boston Community Development South End Neighborhood Service Center (South End Neighborhood Action Program) Award.
Language and Scripts:The material is entirely in English.
System of Arrangement:Organized alphabetically into two series: 1. Personal, and 2. Professional
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Gopen, Martin Neal
  • King, Mel


  • Affirmative action program -- Massachusetts
  • Discrimination in housing
  • Gentrification
  • Minorities -- Civil rights
  • Social justice
  • South End (Boston, Mass.)

Conditions Governing Access:The collection is unrestricted.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:The collection was donated to the Archives by Janice Gopen Weiss and Family on July 31, 2006.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:To the extent that she owns the copyright, the donor has assigned the copyright to these materials to the Archives; however, copyright in some items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. Consult the Archivist for details.
Processor: Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Marshak, August 2007. Updated by Cheryl Ostrowski, January 2014.