With incidents of racial injustice continuing to top headlines across the globe, we look to the history of Teachers College, Columbia University whose initiatives in the field of race relations draw inspiration. Race relations is the study of how people of different races or ethnicities relate to, live with, or behave towards each other -- sometimes as a way to help us understand the sociological and psychological nature of violence.
As African Americans faced particularly hard times -- economic conditions that led the country to the Great Depression -- an important symposium on race relations in the United States was held on August 6, 1929 in Horace Mann Auditorium of Teachers College, Columbia University. The symposium was hosted by a special committee of Teachers College, Columbia University faculty and summer session students. Among participants was the "moving spirit" Miss Mabel Carney, Professor of Rural Education, who earlier that year introduced the significant and open course of lectures entitled "Negro Education and Race Relations". Speakers at the symposium included Dr. Will Alexander, Director of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, Atlanta, Georgia; Dr. James Weldon Johnson, Executive Secretary of the N.A.A.C.P.; and William Heard Kilpatrick, Professor of Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and leader in the progressive education movement.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning:
- Race Relations Course Given At Columbia 'Univ.': Leading Teachers' Training School Takes Important Forward Step. (1929, Mar 02). The Pittsburgh Courier (1911-1950)
- Race Relations Symposium Aug. 6. (1929, Aug 03). New Journal and Guide (1916-2003)
- Columbia Starts Course On Negro: Prominent Speakers Open Lectures On Race At Teachers' College. (1930, Feb 26). The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938)
- Praise Columbia For Race Relations Work. (1931, Apr 25). The Chicago Defender (National Edition) (1921-1967)
- Randolph, M. L. (1932, Feb 07). Forrester Washington To Speak At Columbia University Feb. 17. Atlanta World (1931-1932)
- Conference On Race Relations At Columbia U.: Meeting Is Called By Prof. Mabel Carney Of Summer School. (1936, Aug 22). New Journal and Guide (1916-2003)
- Race Relations Institute To Have Impressive List Nationally-Known Speakers: Session, To Be Held This Year At Cheyney State Teachers College, Will Begin July 5 and Last Through July 24. (1937, Jul 10). New Journal and Guide (1916-2003)
- Avirett, W. G. (1944, Jul 23). Workshop Shotting Educators How To Teach Race Tolerance: Teachers College Sessions Based On Theory That Best Place To Fight 'The American Cancer' Is In the Schools; Demonstration Class Is Used. New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Race Problems: Columbia Teachers College Opens Tolerance Course. (1944, Jul 30). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Columbia Univ. Works On Plan Of Race Help: Desires To Make People Aware Of Race Equality Without Propaganda Label. (1944, Sep 02). New York Amsterdam News (1943-1961)
- New Project Seeks To Cut Race Bias: 300 Children To Take Part In Program Starting Tomorrow At Teachers College. (1944, Nov 10). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Ask 'Discrimination' End: Students Would Drop Questions On Race and Religion. (1949, Jul 16). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Browse archival material about race relations in Pocketknowledge, the digital archive of Teachers College, Columbia University.
- See materials relating to Mabel Carney, Head of the Department of Rural Education at Teachers College Columbia University (1918-1941) and mentor to generations of black students who came here.
- Horace Mann Auditorium, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College, Columbia University
- Check out pertinent articles in Teachers College Record, our official journal, with regard to race relations, including institutional news and offerings.
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