Interracial programs records
SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION
Reports, minutes, correspondence, newsletters and clippings, conference materials, and other records documenting various committees, programs, and conferences intended to monitor and promote the process of integration and the elimination of racial inequality within the YMCA, as well as to identify and address the unmet needs of African American and other non-white people served by the organization. Major bodies represented include the National Study Commission on Interracial Practices (1950-1954), the Commission on Interracial Policies and Program (1955-1967), the Committee on Interracial Advance (1965-1969), and BAN-WYS (1968-1980). Records are organized primarily by committee, conference, or program, but there are additional materials from these bodies included in the files of individual National Board staff members (primarily those of Leo B. Marsh) as well as in the substantial series of reports. Also included are collected printed materials concerning race relations published by various other organizations, including the NAACP.
- National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations. (Organization)
Language of Materials
Use of Materials:
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HISTORY OF YMCA INTERRACIAL PROGRAMS
Although segregation of YMCAs as a national policy ended in 1946 with the approval of a resolution by the National Council calling for the elimination of all racial discrimination, these changes were accepted and adopted to varying degrees and speeds at the local and national levels. During the next thirty to forty years, a variety of programs and committees were established to monitor and promote the process of integration and the progress of racial equality within the movement, as well as to identify and address the unmet needs of African American and other non-white people served by the organization.
During the period from 1949 to 1970, there were four National YMCA bodies commissioned to give primary attention to the elimination of racial segregation and the advancement of racial integration in the YMCA. The first body was the National Study Commission on Interracial Practices, which was appointed by the Program Committee of the National Board for two years, initially, to study and review facts and make recommendations for advance in the area of interracial practices within the YMCA. The Commission was reappointed in 1952 and culminated in the organization of the 1954 National Consultation on YMCA Interracial Work, a symposium held in Columbus, Ohio. The Commission was reorganized in 1955 as the Commission on Interracial Policies and Program, which developed the "Five Year Plan for YMCA Leadership for Interracial Practices and Developments."
The Board Chairman's Committee on Interracial Advancewas created in 1964 and worked to help resolve legal suits brought against the YMCA by plaintiffs charging violation of the 1964 federal civil rights legislation. It also convened national conference in Washington D.C. to consider the implications of this legislation for the YMCA. Following the conference and a reorganization of the National Board, the Committee for Interracial Advancewas constituted as a successor to the Commission on Interracial Policies and Program. The Committee provided the leadership for the development of a landmark amendment to the YMCA constitution, passed in 1967, which required all local associations to annual certify that "their policies and practices provide that eligibility for membership or participation in program shall be without any discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin" as a condition of membership.
Despite the efforts and progress made during the 1950s and 1960s, in 1968 the YMCA still counted 20 local associations practicing segregation. The National Conference of Black and Non-White YMCA Laymen and Staff, known as BAN-WYS, was founded in November 1968 by Leo Marsh (who served as its first chairman), Meredith Matthews, Dunbar Reed, Gordon Rowe, William McAllister, and other YMCA staff members who were disenchanted with the slow pace of change, the persistence of segregation and other discriminatory practices in some areas of the YMCA movement, and frustrated with the inaction of the YMCA's white leadership. A group of 120 Black and other non-white YMCA staff members met in Atlanta, Georgia for a conference focused on making the YMCA, which was widely perceived as a white-oriented and dominated movement, more aware of and responsive to the unmet needs of African American and other non-white persons in the cities of the United States, more aware of the negative effects of certain personnel practices and policies on non-white YMCA staff, and more committed to utilizing the leadership resources of other black and non-white laymen. What began as an ad hoc group developed into an organized network to provide support and representation to non-white YMCA staff members. The group was also responsible for leading the planning and celebration in 1978 of the 125th anniversary of the YMCA service by and to the African American community.
5.6 Linear Feet (14 boxes)
Reports, correspondence, and other records documenting various committees, programs, and conferences intended to monitor and promote the process of integration and the elimination of racial inequality within the YMCA, as well as to identify and address the unmet needs of African American and other non-white people served by the organization.
ORGANIZATION OF THE RECORDS
These documents are organized into the following sections:
- Background Information
- Committee, Program, and Conference Files
- Staff Files
- Printed Materials
See Detailed Description section for box listing.
Note on Language in the Collection and this Guide
Please note that some of the descriptive language found in this collection guide reflects and re-uses the words and ideas of the people and organizations that created the material. Historical records represent the opinions and actions of their creators and the society in which they were produced. This historical language was retained in cases where we believe it provides important context about the materials, is a Library of Congress Subject Heading, or is the official title of an item, organization, or event. As such, please be aware that this material and the guide describing it contains racial and other language and/or imagery that is outdated, offensive and/or harmful.
Processed by: David Carmichael; Jessica Dagen and Lara Friedman~Shedlov, 2003.
Catalog Record ID number: 3753447
- Affirmative action programs -- United States. Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- African Americans -- Civil rights. Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- African Americans -- Segregation. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- African Americans -- Social conditions Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- African Americans -- Societies, etc. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Alexander, Jesse N.
- Commission on Interracial Practices and Program.
- Discrimination in employment -- United States. Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Marsh, Leo B.
- National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations.
- National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations.
- National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations. Committee on Interracial Advance.
- National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations. National Board Chairman's Committee on Interracial Advance.
- National Conference of Black and Non-White YMCA Laymen and Staff
- National Consultation on Interracial Work of the YMCA (1954: Columbus, Ohio). Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- National Council of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States of America. National Task Force on the YMCA in Black Communities.
- National Study Commission on Interracial Practices.
- Race discrimination. Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Race relations -- Religious aspects Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Social work with African Americans. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Young Men's Christian associations -- Employees Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- YMCA INTERRACIAL PROGRAMS:
- An Inventory of Records
- Finding aid prepared by Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- 2021-11-24: Language was changed to reflect more current and respectful terminology and conventions, e.g. capitalization of the word "Black" in reference to people. A content warning note was also added regarding language that was retained, and small edits were made to this collection guide to clarify when that language is being quoted from the collection rather than supplied by the repository.