1959 A Running Start
The initial year of the Catholic Interracial Council of the Twin Cities (CICTC), founded in 1958, was productive. Early in the year the organization presented a statement before the Minnesota judiciary committee related to open housing. During the year the first issues of their newsletter, Branches, were published and federation with the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice was ratified. The concluding event of 1959 was the first annual Human Rights Workshop, which included panel discussions related to prejudices against Black, Native American and Jewish communities.
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This brief statement made before the Judiciary Committee of the Senate of Minnesota on March 13, 1959, emphasizes the CICTC’s view that stronger action was needed to eliminate discrimination in housing.
Although not the first issue of the CICTC's newsletter, it is the first with the new name: Branches. The name comes from John 15:5 where Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are its branches." In selecting the name, “differences of race are as nothing compared to the kinship we all share as branches of that Vine.” This statement became the newsletter’s tag line. Regular features of the newsletter included the Chaplain’s Corner, the President’s Message, and reports from various committees.
The first annual Human Rights Workshop is the focus of the CICTC in the fall. Anticipation builds for the workshop in the September issue of Branches, and the success of the workshop is highlighted in the November issue. The theme of the workshop was “Probing Our Prejudices Toward Minority Groups” and included panel discussions about relations with Blacks, Native Americans and Jews. The keynote address, “A Catholic Looks at Current Racial Problems,” was presented by Msgr. Louis J. McCarthy, Rector of the St. Paul Seminary.
Think about . . .
A name can convey a lot of meaning.
- In what organization are you a member?
- If applicable, what is the name of the organization’s newsletter and how does it reflect the organization’s purpose?
- If the organization does not have a newsletter, what would you suggest for a newsletter name? What message would you try to convey with the name?