Louisiana Council on Human Relations | Amistad Research Center
The Louisiana Council on Human Relations (LCHR) was organized in 1964 as a nonprofit, nonsectarian, interracial, educational organization. Sponsored and assisted financially by the Southern Regional Council in Atlanta, the original mission of LCHR was to counter discrimination and prejudice against racial and religious groups and to promote better understanding among these groups. The organization later expanded its goals to include gender and class discrimination. Organizers included Ralph M. Dreger, Wade Mackie, and Dean Martin L. Harvey. Founding officers included James R. Oliver, Murray J. Martin, Barbara Erickson, and Helen Mervis.
In 1965, a local chapter was formed in Baton Rouge. Other chapters included those in Lafayette, Shreveport, Franklin, New Iberia, Vermillion Parish, Ruston, and Covington, as well as a student chapter at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. The Community Relations Council of Greater New Orleans, already in existence, became of chapter of LCHR. All chapters were independent affiliates of the state organization.
Patricia B. Miller became the full-time Executive Director in 1966, thanks to a grant by the Southern Regional Council. The first annual meeting of LCHR was held in February 1967. Throughout its existence, LCHR has sponsored discussion groups, conferences, and workshops that have addressed a wide variety of social justice causes including: housing and urban renewal , women’s rights, Native American rights, discrimination, race relations, religion, environmental justice, welfare, and others.
A history and timeline of the organization can be found on the website for the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations at http://www.brchr.org.