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Interracial, circa 1961-1970

 File — Box: 4, Reel: 296, microdex: 1
Interracial, circa 1961-1970
Interracial, circa 1961-1970

Scope and Contents

Documents concerning YWCA of the U.S.A. internal issues of racism and race relations as well as their involvement in the civil rights movement and activism. These initiatives address racism towards Native Americans and Mexican Americans but the majority of the materials specifically address racism faced by African Americans. Articles and reports concerning economic and social conditions faced by Native Americans in the United States include several reports of the Menominee people and how they were affected by termination policies. These reports are preceded by a challenge issued by the Coalition of Native Tribes advocating for Red Power in Wisconsin and requesting support for their organizing efforts. The status of Mexican American women in the YWCA of the U.S.A. is examined in a report surveying their participation in programs and activities. As part of their activism and commitment to the civil rights movement the YWCA of the U.S.A. and its members participate in organizations, education and demonstrations. Three marches are documented in these materials; the March Against Fear to Jackson, Mississippi, the Selma to Montgomery March and the March on Washington. Participant reflections and reports document the feelings and importance of the demonstrations. Also included are two organizer's handbooks for the March on Washington. As another form of activism the YWCA of the U.S.A. becomes involved in the Metropolitan New York Project Equity. This organization combines the purchasing power of churches, synagogues and religious organizations to effect change through their own employment practices and the selection of suppliers and contractors. A request for affiliation from Dorothy Height recommends the YWCA of the U.S.A.'s participation. Also included are correspondence from the Equity Project, vendor and supplier notes and a sample of a letter sent to a supplier concerning the mission of the project. As racial tensions grow in the United States the YWCA of the U.S.A. maintains an awareness of the situation and in particular to role and causes of violence in the civil rights movements. Internal reflection and action in the YWCA of the U.S.A. includes the 1970 Black Women in the YWCA conference and assessments of racial inclusiveness in local associations. Memos concerning the Black Women conference announce the conference and its purpose. Additional information can be found with the materials for the 1970 national convention. The report, "Racial Inclusiveness - A Conscious Goal," includes the interracial charter of the YWCA of the U.S.A., background information and core concepts concerning racism and the civil rights movement, roadblocks to inclusivity in the YWCA of the U.S.A. and guidelines for action. 

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: circa 1961-1970

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

From the Record Group:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

However, by agreement with the YWCA of the U.S.A., microdexes known to contain financial records or personal health information (usually on job applications) were not digitized and/or not published in our online repository as part of the CLIR Digitizing Hidden Collections grant. These microdexes may still be accessed on the original microfilm, and digital files may be made available to individual researchers upon request.


265 frames (1 partial reel)