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Catholic Council on Human Relations records

Identifier: 077

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a variety of materials regarding the Catholic Council on Human Relations (CCHR) and their work to desegregate New Orleans parochial schools. The collection includes correspondence by and to C. Ellic Henican, Charles Plauche, Henry Bezou, and Henry Cabirac. The collection includes the organization's foundational documents, collected publications, and financial materials.

Much of the collection consists of correspondence between CCHR staff and directors, with the bulk of letters being to and from C. Ellic Henican (president) and Henry Cabirac (executive director). There is also a folder dedicated to correspondence with Monsignor Charles Plauche, as well as correspondence with New Orleans School Superintendent Henry Bezou. A large amount of the collection also contains business documents of the CCHR, such as the organization's bylaws and constitution, statement of purpose, meeting minutes, the certificate of incorporation, and the articles of incorporation. Financial documents are also included, such as bank statements, tax forms, budgets, statement of expenses, check books, bank deposit slips, and receipts. There are also reports and report drafts from the CCHR regarding their organization and their reasoning for the desegregation of Catholic schools.

In addition to the above documents, there are also newspaper articles reporting on the desegregation of Catholic schools in New Orleans, press releases from the CCHR and other affiliated organizations, and letters and articles from anti-segregationist organizations, such as Save Our Nation, Inc. There is correspondence regarding a grants-in-aid program, transcripts of speeches and sermons advocating for desegregation, a description of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and photographs of CCHR staff and directors and desegregation protests. There are also letters, articles, meeting minutes, and reports from and about Education Unlimited and the National Catholic Council on Interracial Justice.

Items of note include a confidential report from the Southern Field Service to the National Catholic Council on Interracial Justice in 1962 and an address delivered by Henry Cabirac in Lafayette before the 42nd Annual Convention of the Knights of Peter Claver in 1962.

This collection was processed under a grant from the Keller Family Foundation.


  • Created: 1955-1969
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1972


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to these papers has not been assigned to the Amistad Research Center. It is the responsibility of an author to secure permission for publication from the holder of the copyright to any material contained in this collection.

Historical Note

The Catholic Council on Human Relations (CCHR) of the Archdiocese of New Orleans was a Catholic layman's organization founded on May 5, 1961, to deal with the issue of race relations and integration. The CCHR's objectives were to promote positive relationships between people of all races in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, to spread awareness of the Church's teachings on interracial justice and charity, to work cooperatively with agencies to strengthen relations between all American people, and to devote their resources to a peaceful and charitable solution to all human relations problems.

New Orleans public schools had started to desegregate in 1960. While then Archbishop Joseph Rummell had publically denounced segregation in 1956, there was no action on the Church's part towards the desegregation of parochial schools until 1961, when the CCHR was organized. In January 1962, a formal plan of integration was finalized, stating that the desegregation of New Orleans' parochial elementary schools would begin in fall 1962. Pro-segregation groups began organizing protests against desegregation and attempted to pressure the Archdiocese to withdraw their integration plan, yet the school year went on as planned and New Orleans Catholic elementary schools officially desegregated on September 4, 1962, without incident.


3.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

This collection has been arranged by topic or format including publications, CCHR daily operations and financial documents, correspondence, and an organizational scrapbook.

Source of Acquisition

Catholic Council on Human Relations

Appraisal Information

This collection pertains to school desegregation of New Orleans parochial schools.

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Natalie Midlo collection

Alan Wieder collection

Processing Information

Processed by Kathleen Peters and Andrew Salinas in 2010.

Catholic Council on Human Relations records
Kathleen Peters, Andrew Salinas
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Amistad Research Center Repository

6823 Saint Charles Avenue
Tilton Hall, Tulane University
New Orleans LA 70118 US
(504) 862-3222