Photograph of the Human Relations Commission Staff. Front row, left to right: Mary Owens, July Fussell, Pat Melvin, Cathy Morgan. Standing, left to right: Dave Jackson, Bill Jessup, John Davis.
Formerly known as the Bi-Racial Committee, the Human Relations Commission of New Hanover County, NC was born in the midst of the racial tensions of the 1960s and 1970s. In the over 30 years of its existence it expanded its scope of interest to cover many different human injustices. In the 1980s their focus was on conflict resolution (to ease tension over a racist picture in a high school yearbook), establishing a minority/women business enterprise program, workshops on before and after incarceration situations for the Department of Corrections, studying the plight of the homeless, forums on disabled housing, and meeting with county/city agencies on gang activity in public buildings. In 1990-1991, the Commission was awarded the David Coltrane State Award for outstanding programs and leadership. County cutbacks ended the commission in 2008.
Megivern, Marjorie. Human Relations: 20 Years of Struggle: A History of the New Hanover Human Relations Commission, 1963-1983. Wilmington: New Hanover Human Relations, 1984.
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