The 1950s and 1960s were a turbulent time for civil rights in the United States. Organizations, both secular and religious, were working to secure equal rights for minorities. One such organization was the Catholic Interracial Council of the Twin Cities (CICTC), “an organization of Catholic men and women of St. Paul and Minneapolis who are striving to apply Catholic principles on racial matters to the very real racial problems our two communities face” (Branches, August 1959). The CICTC collection consists of newsletters and other documents dated from 1958 to 1966 that were donated to the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections by a founding member of the organization and alumnus of St. Catherine University. In the letter included with the documents she writes, “We thought we could change the world, and there has been quite a bit of change, but not nearly enough.”
This exhibit includes documents and newsletters selected from the CICTC collection that highlight the organization’s activities, volunteers, and reactions to local and national civil rights events of the time. The majority of the organization’s activism took place in the St. Paul and Minneapolis area. However, as recorded in the newsletters, members were also willing to travel to Chicago, Selma, Alabama, and Washington D.C. to take part in national civil rights events.
We hope this look into a time when the struggle for civil rights was front and center - both locally and nationally - will provide an opportunity for today’s human rights activists to learn from the human rights activists of the past.
Can you add to our collection?
Do you have information about the Catholic Interracial Council of the Twin Cities? A piece of literature, notes from a CICTC sponsored event, a story to share? If so, please consider contributing it to this collection by contacting the St. Catherine University Archives & Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.