SRC History Timeline 1919-2000
1919 > 1920s > 1930s > 1940s > 1950s > 1960s > 1970s > 1980s > 1990s > 2000
1919

Founding of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC). White Methodist ministers Will Alexander and Willis D. Weatherford, black leaders Robert Moton of Tuskegee Institute and YMCA leader R. E. Jones, and progressive industrialist John J. Eagan, who is named the Commission's first president, appoint a staff of one white and one black man in each Southern state "as mediators and organizers of concerned citizens willing to work for improved race relations."

1920s

Early Commission work includes campaign led by sociologist and CIC Education Director Robert Eleazer to reshape the coverage of African Americans in the media.

1930s Top of page
 

Two Commission publications, Charles S. Johnson's Collapse of Cotton Tenancy and Ira De A. Reid and Arthur Raper's Sharecroppers All, impact Roosevelt administration rural policy.

1930

Inspired by the NAACP's Anti-Lynching Crusaders and leaders like Mary McLeod Bethune, the CIC Women's Committee forms the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching under the leadership of Jessie Daniel Ames.

The Tragedy of Lynching, by sociologist Arthur Raper, is published by the Commission.

1940s Top of page
 

The "generation before the civil rights movement" laid crucial groundwork that bore fruit in the coming two decades. The Commission transformed into the Southern Regional Council.

1944

A series of meetings attended by black and white leaders results in the new Southern Regional Council "to attain through research and action the ideals and practices of equal opportunity for all peoples of the region." University of North Carolina sociologist Howard Odum is elected first president of the Council, and Guy B. Johnson is named its first executive director. Charles S. Johnson, president of Fisk University, is the first chair of the executive committee.

1950s

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SRC works for implementation of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, forming local and state Human Relations Councils to bring together black and white citizens.

1953

Atlanta University President Dr. Rufus B. Clement elected first black member of the Atlanta Board of Education; in 1954, Clement becomes chair of the SRC Executive Committee.

1954

SRC participates in The Ashmore Project, which produces a study documenting harmful effects of segregation, The Negro in the Schools. The study influences the U.S. Supreme Court during the implementation of Brown v. Board of Education.

1960s

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The Voter Education Project, founded as a Council project, begins to successfully register more than two million black voters. Wiley Branton, Vernon Jordan, and John Lewis are the first three directors of the project.

1960

SRC is among the first organizations to come out in support of the student sit-ins which begin in Greensboro February 1, 1960. SRC-initiated Hunger Task Force helps pave the way for America's food stamp program

1968

SRC leads several regional organization in founding the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, created to support cooperative rural economic development in the region. The first Lillian Smith Book Award, named for the Georgia writer known for her outspoken views against segregation, is given to George Tindall for The Emergence of the New South.

1970s

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1977

Increasing the Options, a publication resulting from an SRC-sponsored task force on Southern rural development which included Jimmy Carter, Ray Marshall, Juanita Kreps, and Alexander Heard, chairman of the Ford Foundation, details the determined persistence of Southern poverty during the 1970s.

1978

The Southern Legislative Research Council begins its work to aid the growing number of black elected officials at the state and local level in the South.

1979

SRC's voting rights programs begin; over the next fifteen years the programs produce fair redistricting plans for more than 2,000 jurisdictions in the South.

1980s

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1982

SRC launches an educational campaign which helps lead to the extension and strengthening of the Voting Rights Act.

1988

First biennial Climate for Workers in the U.S. report issued by SRC's Southern Labor Institute.

1990s

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1990

The Black Belt Democracy Project analyzes rural electric cooperatives, identifying discriminatory co-op election patterns.

1991

Community Fellows Institute begins: community leaders throughout the South trained to change and improve public schools.

1992

Delta Principals Institute begins: 75 principals throughout the Mississippi Delta were trained through peer leadership.

SRC Experts-In-Training program begins training 28 African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American experts in voting rights enforcement skills.

1994

SRC's Center for School Success begins providing training and technical assistance to over 500 literacy and education sites nationwide that are funded through the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps).

1995

SRC establishes the middle school peer leadership initiative with the Atlanta Public Schools to increase student learning. SRC Communications department formed.

1996

Production of Southern Changes is moved entirely inside SRC for the first time. SRC organizational website debuts.

1997

Initial broadcast of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken? An Audio History of the Civil Rights Movement in Five Southern Communities and the Music of Those Times" to over 250 public radio stations nationwide. The culmination of almost twenty years of research and production. "Circle" website debuts.

Strategic planning-Voting Rights Program renamed Fair Representation.

1998

SRC's premier publication, Southern Changes¸ celebrates its twentieth anniversary.

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" wins the George Foster Peabody Award, the most prestigious award in broadcasting.

Seeking an America as Good as Its Promise, a report based on SRC's nationwide survey of white attitudes toward affirmative action remedies is published and receives nationwide press coverage.

Youth Empowerment Program proposal development & dissemination; Precinct Realignment Services begun; Campaign Finance Reform & GA Anti-Discrimination Law Coalition activities begun; Cost Recovery Custom Research Services expanded.

1999

SRC launches new program: Partnerships for Racial Unity to build bridge of cooperation and multi-racial understanding.

First publicly accessible on-line redistricting (plan drawing ) services tested in-house; Voting Rights Help Net designed & begun; precision non-voter targeting services initiated, Regaining The Voting Rights Offensive pilot research plan-in Mississippi-launched.

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" compact discs and cassette tapes and curriculum guide made available to the public.

Through an partnership with Emory University, searchable, full-text of Southern Changes back issues made available on Web.

2000

SRC celebrates its 80th anniversary with The Homecoming, April 27, 2000

 

The papers of the Southern Regional Council, the Commission on Interracial Cooperation and Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching are available at selected libraries and from UMI Research Collections.

2001 A Southern Regional Council study reveals that minority voters in Georgia were almost two times more likely than white voters to live in counties that use the most error-prone voting machinery.

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