Civil Society and Democracy

The American Council on Race Relations

The American Council on Race Relations played a crucial role in promoting equality in the United States after World War II. Founded in 1944 by philanthropists Edwin Embree and Marshall Field, it aimed to bring about full democracy in race relations. University of Chicago sociologist Louis Wirth led the organization in conducting scholarly studies for government and private organizations on the fundamental causes of racial problems, as well as programs of racial cooperation at the local level. As African American soldiers returned from service in the war, many new agencies emerged to address racial problems in the United States. The Council served as a coordinating body to guide these groups, and phased out as these agencies found their footing. Prominent African American leaders participated in the Council, including Ralph J. Bunche, Mary McLeod Bethune, and NAACP President Walter White. The RBF supported the Council from 1946 until it closed its doors in 1950.

database icon

Browse the major events in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's history