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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice records

Repository: Marquette University. Raynor Memorial Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives

Collection Description (CRHP): See Series 21: Audio Recordings, 1958-1973 for the following interviews:

Selma March: KMOX St. Louis Radio Interview & Call-In Q & A, St. Louis, MO, 11 March 1965
Afternoon Interview with Sr. Ernest Marie & Sr. Thomas Marguerite, 11 March 1965
Evening Interview with Sr. Ernest Marie & Sr. Thomas Marguerite, 11 March 1965
Press Conference with Nicholas Katzenbach, 11 March 1965

Sister Margaret Traxler and John A. McDermott by Studs Terkel on WFMT radio in Chicago, Ill. They discuss race and other social problems in the United States, the role of the Catholic Interracial Council, and what the Catholic Church's role should be. Traxler also shares her experiences in the recent Selma-Montgomery Rights March, 1965.

Project Eqaulity, WAAF Chicago: Lou House Interview with Thomas H. Gibbons, Chicago, IL, March 1966

Project Equality, Interview with Thomas Gibbons on Project Equality in Detroit MI, 28 December 1967

Project Equality, "Voice of America" Interview with Thomas H. Gibbons, Chicago, IL, 20 March 1968

Collection Description (Extant): The National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice (NCCIJ) was founded in 1960, two years after the U.S. Catholic bishops' statement on racial discrimination and segregation, to coordinate the efforts of Catholic interracial councils, first established in the 1930s under the leadership of John LaFarge, SJ. During its heyday in the 1960s, when it was headquartered in Chicago, the NCCIJ served as catalyst for the historic interfaith National Conference on Religion and Race and for Catholic involvement in the March on Washington and demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, and elsewhere in support of federal civil rights legislation. Notable initiatives included programs to combat employment discrimination (the interdenominational Project Equality, which became an independent organization in 1971) and provide human relations training for teachers. From its office in New Orleans, the conference's Southern Field Service assisted in the formation of more than two dozen interracial organizations in the South and Southwest. In the wake of the Black Power movement, the establishment of official diocesan human relations offices that supplanted the interracial councils, serious personnel conflicts, and financial shortfalls, however, the NCCIJ faced a challenge to its its very existence by the early 1970s. It survived (as a membership organization rather than a federation) for three more decades, but with a much lower profile. In 1975 the conference moved its headquarters to Washington, DC, where it was seemingly overshadowed by the United States Catholic Conference. The NCCIJ suspended operations at the end of 2002.

Records of a national federation of Catholic human relations agencies and interracial councils, including minutes of meetings of the board of directors, information on affiliated organizations, records of conventions and workshops, subject files, and files of staff members concerning conference services and projects in areas such as education, employment, and health care. Notable correspondents include Mathew Ahmann, John P. Sisson, and Margaret Traxler. Documentation for the last two decades is largely missing, due to the destruction of records in the NCCIJ's custody when it closed.

Access Copy Note: Open to all users.

Date(s): 1958-2001

Extent: 33.1 cubic ft

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See the interview with Margaret Traxler in her papers held at Marquette University. Other interviews with civil rights activists by Studs Terkel for WFMT are at the Chicago History Museum.

Interviewees: Margaret Traxler, John A. McDermott, Sr. Ernest Marie, Sr. Thomas Marguerite, Thomas H. Gibbons

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African Americans--Civil rights--Illinois
Catholic Church--Illinois--Chicago
Catholic Inter-Racial Council (Chicago, Ill.)
Civil rights--Religious aspects--Catholic Church
Illinois--Race relations
National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice
Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965 : Selma, Ala.)


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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