Looking Back . . . SRC and the Nation

By Staff

Vol. 10, No. 6, 1988, p. 15

In 1919 the Commission on Interracial Cooperation was started. Thirty-five years later the Commission was reorganized as the Southern Regional Council. Over the past seven decades, Southerners of good will have worked as one within these organizations to achieve a better place to live.

Some of the organization's most important accomplishments during these decades include:

  • Helping to end lynchings in the South;
  • The first network of biracial state councils in the South providing the major support for public schools for all children;
  • Documenting the need for the first federal executive order barring racial discrimination;
  • Documenting the need for the first federal civil rights act in this century;
  • Helping to register more than two million black voters in the South;
  • Research prompting federal intervention to protect the lives and safety of civil rights workers in the 195Os and'60s;
  • A Citizens' Board of Inquiry into poverty and hunger--work credited with spurring the first national anti-hunger legislation;
  • Planting the seeds of an integrated cooperative farmers movement in the 1960s and 1970s;
  • A Southwide governmental monitoring project that documented the failures of the Nixon Administration's "New federalism;"
  • A model demonstration project that successfully placed more than 400 black women in managerial positions in the South. This project later became a major initiative in the federal government labor programs;
  • A task force on Southern rural development offering a blueprint for a national rural policy;
  • Research in the 1970s that led to the adoption of the first nationwide affirmative action plan in the U. S. courts;
  • Helping to bring more democratic governments to almost a thousand jurisdictions across the South.