Charlie Orrock was born in Virginia in 1943. He studied Engineering at Virginia Tech and went on to serve in the US Army, then did construction work in southeast Asia. After returning home he became an organizer for United Mine Workers and then United Steel Workers. He was married to Nan Orrock.
Southern Organizing Committee for Racial and Economic Justice
Heather Gray served on the board of the Southern Organizing Committee for Racial and Economic Justice that Anne Braden co-chaired along with Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. The organization " was one of the few that provided the opportunity for us to think and act regionally and to make the essential connections of the myriad of issues we faced. From the 1980’s and on the meetings were always filled with a diversity of black, white and eventually Latino activists in the region".
- We would sit for hours in New Orleans, Montgomery or Birmingham to strategize on various issues, activities and mistakes we’ve made then and in the past. We would also listen, learn and occasionally join in while the legendary leaders in our midst discussed and analyzed the dynamics of white supremacy, racial politics generally and labor challenges in the South. Anne was never without offering a lengthy epistle about anything until the wee hours of the night along with her ever-present cigarettes! These sessions were often both grueling and enlightening. They were not only a history lesson but also a socialization process into the tactics of southern civil rights activism and Anne understood the importance of this. She wanted to pass this information on to all of us and to keep the momentum going at every conceivable juncture. The meetings were a roll call of southern leaders and activists the likes of Reverend C. T. Vivian, Jack O'Dell, Gwen Patton, Virginia Durr, Reverend Fred Taylor, Reverend James Orange, Connie Tucker, John Zippert, Jackie Ward, Reverend Benjamin Chavis, Charlie Orrock, Ann Romaine, Damu Smith, Jim Dunn, Judy Hand, Scott Douglas, Ron Chisholm, Spiver Gordon, Pat Bryant, Tirso Moreno and countless others.
National Fight Back Conference
In June/July 1994 Charlie Orrock contributed an article to Moving Forward, the newsletter of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Socialist Organizing Network as a contact for the Organize the South Network.
"The Cost of Privilege"
Chip Smith Memorial
Guests at Chip Smith's March 2018 memorial service included Dave Austin, Bridgette Burge, Bryan Proffitt, Saladin Muhammad, Ajamu Dillahunt, Rukiya Dillahunt, Susan Perry Cole (Racial Justice Group), Marcus Thomas (Racial Justice Group), Susan Ayers (PFlag), Don Cavalini, Lois Anderson, Charlie Orrock, State Senator Angela Bryant "a comrade of Chip's", a letter from Marvin Winstead, and a messages Meizhu Lui, Michelle Foy, Bill Fletcher, Jr. as Freedom Road Socialist Organization members.