The Southern Regional Council (SRC), an organization founded in 1919 as the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, continues to wrestle with the intractable issue of racial injustice in the South.  SRC has engaged communities for more than nine decades as a leader in providing research designed to inform public policy in the areas of democratic rights and economic fairness. Click here for the history timeline overview from 1918 - 2000.

SRC’s 90 year record of serviceis perhaps best known for its influential background reports on conditions in the South – a tradition of committed research which has moved public officials to action. From its early efforts in the 1930’s to decrease the incidence of lynchings to a 1950’s campaign to improve the portrayal of African Americans in the media, SRC has always been committed to addressing the issues most important to race and democracy. Historically, SRC has published important Southern academic work and journalism related to racial justice and sponsored the Lillian Smith Book Awards. Equally important, SRC has been a convener of youth empowerment workshops and a facilitator of leadership training for public officials, but its work is not yet complete.

SRC has maintained archival and other critical resources for research on voting rights and civil rights issues.  Through its broad reputation for advocacy of racial justice, and use of its communications capacity, SRC has a history of fighting for racial justice successfully with national implications as in its support for Brown v. Board of Education.

Today, SRC continues to fight for racial justice in the South.  SRC’s unique opportunities are to:

  • influence a just future for all people in the South

  • to empower disempowered communities and communities of color to work together for justice

  • to close the social and economic gaps between whites and other ethnic groups in the South

  • to offer an alternative to reactionary think tanks that are currently influencing both the government and media and advancing an agenda that is often hostile to the interests of the poor and minorities

  • and, to remind the South and the country that racial injustice is the South’s unfinished business, and that persistent injustice impedes our progress as a nation.