West End Community Council Records, 1963-1970


Summary Information
Title: West End Community Council Records
Inclusive Dates: 1963-1970

Creator:
  • West End Community Council (Louisville, Ky.)
Call Number: Mss 554; PH Mss 554

Quantity: 4.5 c.f. (11 archives boxes), 14 photographs, and 14 negatives

Repository:
Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Abstract:
Records of a community organization from a racially-mixed area of Louisville, Kentucky, that operated from l963 to 1970, and which concerned itself with a number of social problems such as desegregation of housing and schools, urban renewal, welfare rights, the problems of youth, and environmental questions. The largest portion of the collection consists of correspondence, budgets, reports, applications, organizational records, minutes, and financial records relating to WECC's relations with other agencies. Other records include administrative and committee files, correspondence mainly concerning fundraising, and financial records.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.uw-whs-mss00554
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Biography/History

The West End Community Council (WECC) organized an array of political, social, and cultural activities in Louisville, Kentucky from 1963 through 1970. The Council worked primarily in Louisville's West End, a 1000-block area whose racially-mixed and poor population of 100,000 formed approximately 20 per cent of the city's total. The WECC, through its own committees or numerous other groups which it helped to establish and coordinate, dealt with many social issues of concern to the West End community, including desegregation of housing and schools, urban renewal, welfare rights, problems of youth and environmental questions.

In 1963, the WECC was organized by persons anxious to forestall the movement of white residents from the West End. The Council was directed by an executive committee, which held monthly meetings, and by a board of directors. The board consisted of the Council's four elected officers (chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer), plus the chairpersons of the WECC's eleven standing committees, and representatives from each of seven districts within the West End. The actual directors of Council activities were the standing and ad hoc committees and their chairpersons.

The desire of Council founders to maintain the desegregated communities of the West End was reflected in the organization's early activities. As part of their attempts to persuade white home owners to remain in the community, pamphlets were distributed and Council members made visits to many homes. Also, a survey was taken in 1964, to measure the degree of racial prejudice among West End residents. Until 1965, the Council's work was done entirely by volunteers; its meager resources were provided by small donations; from local businesses, or by the $1.00 membership fees.

New sources of funding in 1965 enabled the WECC to expand its activities. The Council received a grant from the United Church of Christ, and, through the Louisville Youth Commission, won additional funds from the Federal Head Start program, to organize social activities in West End schools. In the summer of 1965, the Council held the first of four annual Arts and Talent Festivals, featuring performances of music, drama, and dance by local citizens, as well as displays of art. In subsequent years, literary talents of West Enders were displayed in digests of prose and poetry published by the Festival organizers.

Provided with additional funding by the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church, the WECC undertook “Project West End” in June 1966. At that time, the Council hired its first full-time director, Hulbert James, and a secretary. As presented in the Council's grant proposals, the project intended to organize block clubs; promote voter registration; bring pressure on the city government for improved street maintenance, tighter zoning and housing laws; improve the quality of education; and establish programs for community youth. During this period, WECC members helped organize several other groups, including Community Action on Metropolitan Problems, which sought improved police protection, the Public Housing Tenant Association, and the West Louisville Cooperative Ministry, an interdenominational organization of clergy and church members. To house its growing operations, the Council purchased a building, where a coffee house was opened later in 1966.

In another important development during 1966, the WECC became a contracting agency for the Louisville Community Action Commission, which disbursed Federal anti-poverty funds to local groups. The Council, which employed four community organizers and several resident organizers, administered numerous CAC programs. However, the CAC limited the Council's use of Federal money to only one section of the West End, the DuValle Junior High School district. This conflict between the original intention of the WECC, to represent the entire West End, and the constraints on the scope of its activities imposed by the CAC led eventually to the decision by the Council in 1967 to drop its connection with the CAC. The WECC also resisted efforts by the CAC to centralize community organizations in Louisville.

Having relinquished its financial support from the Community Action Commission, the West End Community Council thereafter relied on grants from the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian and the Episcopal Churches. The WECC continued its labors in defense of the rights of welfare recipients. Previously, it had organized a demonstration for welfare benefits in Louisville, in conjunction with the national welfare rights campaign of July 1966. In February 1967, the Council was represented at the National Welfare Rights Conference in Washington, D.C. Shortly after that, a Louisville Welfare Rights Organization branch was established under WECC auspices, and a march of welfare mothers to Frankfort, Kentucky was organized in 1969.

Beginning in the fall of 1966, WECC members were aided by VISTA volunteers, who numbered fifteen by 1968. Reverend Charles Tachau became the Council's new executive director in 1967. During his tenure, the Council sent six busloads of mourners to the funeral of Martin Luther King in Atlanta.

Beset by dwindling sources of funds and declining membership, the WECC was dissolved on 22 March 1970. Its grants from the three church groups had expired in 1969, and its membership, once over 400, had declined to only 40 in 1970. The Council disbanded after seeing that its community work had been taken over by other groups, particularly the Black Workers Coalition.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains materials donated by four individuals: Rev. Charles Tachau, an executive director of the WECC, James Kiphart, a chairman of the Council, and Anne and Carl Braden, founding members of the WECC. As a result, the records are incomplete. The papers have been arranged in four major series: Administrative and Committee Records, Correspondence, Financial Records, and Organizations and Activities.

Within the ADMINISTRATIVE AND COMMITTEE RECORDS, a file of descriptive materials gives a full picture of WECC activities throughout the organization's lifespan. Included are the minutes of the initial organizational meeting in 1963, and reports of the Council's dissolution in 1970. Histories written in 1965 as part of grant proposals describe the Council's early years. Detailed reports of Council activities cover the period from January 1966 to March 1967. Sketchier reports were written for donors in 1968 and 1969. A letter of June 8, 1967 (Box 1, Folder 1) reviews the Council's relationship with the Louisville Community Action Commission, and explains its decision to sever connections with the Commission. Descriptions of West End conditions are also to be found in this file.

The Council's organizational papers include its articles of incorporation and constitution, written in 1963 and 1964. The file of papers of the executive directors has resumes and press clippings of Hulbert James and Charles Tachau. Material referring to WECC committees is fragmentary and primarily consists of minutes and memoranda. Most cover only two or three years of the Council's life and there are no records for several of the Council's committees. Voluminous CORRESPONDENCE, 1963 to 1970, touches upon multiple aspects regarding the Council, and especially concerns religious organizations from whom the WECC sought funding.

Among the extensive FINANCIAL RECORDS are summaries from 1964 through 1970, which provide a concise overview of financial operations through out the Council's existence. Annotated check stubs are a continuous record of spending. Early records exist from 1963, as well as ledgers for the Head Start program and Operation West End. Other records, including account ledgers, receipts, and contributions, date primarily from 1967 to 1969.

The major portion of the WECC papers relate to ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES with which the Council was associated. Most of the papers in this series deal with the Community Action Commission, which administered the Community Action Program for Louisville. The CAP was “chief weapon in the war on poverty” of the federal Office of Economic Opportunity. The Louisville CAC was one of about thirty CAP's throughout the US in 1965, and it was believed to have received the largest grant, per capita, of any major city. The CAC contracted with various existing community groups to implement programs in specific neighborhoods, and among those was the WECC.

Included in the CAC file are correspondence, budgets, and the full application submitted to the OEO in 1966. The application, with its many supporting documents, gives a broad overview of the purposes and activities of the CAC. The structure of the CAC is explained in its by-laws and prospectuses; organizational papers include rosters of Commission members, with analysis of their racial and economic backgrounds. Many CAC programs, including the Head Start project in which the WECC was active, are analyzed in a series of reports, proposals and evaluations from 1965 to 1969. The WECC used OEO funds to employ community organizers; their labors between 1965 and 1967 are described in detailed reports of activities and memoranda.

Other papers are related specifically to the Head Start program. Lengthy reports and evaluations describe Head Start operations from 1966 to 1969, and show the position of the WECC within the program's structure. The extent of the Council's involvement is evident from minutes, reports, correspondence, and financial records.

The Council employed VISTA volunteers, and their activities generated program applications, proposals, correspondence, financial records, and detailed reports. In addition, small files are included on a number of local and national organizations which cooperated with the WECC. Among these were: The Black Unity League of Kentucky, Community Action on Metropolitan Problems, The Louisville Youth Commission, The Public Housing Tenants Association, and clubs in the Southwick district of the West End. A larger grouping of papers, including a charter and statement of purpose, membership rosters, petitions, correspondence and press clippings, concern the Louisville Welfare Rights Organization.

Other files are related to activities of the Council regarding social issues in the West End. A substantial body of material exists on urban renewal, consisting of correspondence, memoranda, and newspaper clippings. A series of informative case studies describes the plight of many displaced individuals. On welfare issues, there are reference materials, correspondence and many clippings from Louisville newspapers during 1966 to 1968. One series of clippings illustrates WECC involvement in the national welfare rights campaign of July 1966. Photographs relate to neighborhood visits by the group and a social event.

Other activities of the Council which are illustrated in the collection, include their Arts and Talent Festivals, their coffee house, surveys on desegregation in housing and employment, fund-raising benefits, cultural events, adult education, and a voter registration campaign.

One folder deals with the sedition charges brought in 1967 against Anne and Carl Braden, two of the founding members of the WECC. Included are texts of radio broadcasts by commentator Fulton Lewis, on the Bradens' alleged Communist activities, and a reply by Carl Braden. Also present are legal documents filed by the Bradens and the WECC in an attempt to win an injunction against the Kentucky Committee on Un-American Activities in 1968.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Acquisition Information

Presented by the West End Community Council, Louisville, Kentucky, via James M. Kiphart, Charles B. Tachau, and Anne and Carl Braden, 1970, 1972. Accession Number: M70-141, M70-181, M70-203, M70-378, M72-27


Processing Information

Processed by Menzi Behrnd-Klodt and Jim Giblin, July 1980.


Contents List
Mss 554
Series: Administrative and Committee Records
Box   1
Folder   1
Descriptive Materials, Proposals and Reports of Activities, 1963-1970
Box   1
Folder   2
Articles of Incorporation and Constitution, 1963-1964
Box   1
Folder   3
Executive Directors - Resumes, Correspondence, Clippings and Job Description, 1966-1967
Box   1
Folder   4
Board of Directors - Members and Agenda, 1967
Box   1
Folder   5
Education Committee - Correspondence, Minutes, Notes and Statements, 1967-1968
Box   1
Folder   6
Executive Committee - Minutes and Memoranda, 1965-1966
Box   1
Folder   7
Committee on Housing - Memoranda and Notes, 1967-1968
Box   1
Folder   8
Human Relations Committee - Minutes and Memoranda, 1965-1968
Box   1
Folder   9
Committee on Justice - Correspondence, Memoranda, Notes, and Clippings, 1967-1969
Box   1
Folder   10
Juvenile Interest Committee - Minutes and Correspondence, 1967-1968
Box   1
Folder   11
Legal Committee - Proposal and Roster, 1968
Box   1
Folder   12
Membership Committee - Records and Appeals, 1964-1968
Box   1
Folder   13
Publicity and Literature Committee - Memoranda and Press Releases, 1963-1972
Box   1
Folder   14
Survey Committee - Memoranda, Notes, Correspondence, 1963-1964
Box   1
Folder   15
Miscellaneous' Memoranda, 1966
Series: Correspondence
Box   1
Folder   16-19
Incoming, March 1964-March 1970
Box   2
Folder   1-3
Outgoing, June 1963-April 1970
Box   2
Folder   4
Series: Employee Records and Applications, 1965-1968
Series: Financial Records
Box   2
Folder   5
Financial Summaries, 1964-1970
Box   11
Folder   1
Account Ledgers, Disbursements. and Receipts, 1965-1966
Box   2
Folder   6
Account Ledgers, 1968-1969
Box   2
Folder   7
Bank Reconcilement, December 1965-September 1966
Check Stubs
Box   2
Folder   8-11
December 1964-November 1967
Box   3
Folder   1-3
November 1967-April 1970
Box   3
Folder   4
Contributions, Disbursements, Receipts, 1967
Box   3
Folder   5
Donations, Correspondence, and Notes, 1964-1969
Box   3
Folder   6
Financial and Membership Records, 1963
Box   3
Folder   7
Head Start, 1965-1967; Operation West End, 1966
Box   11
Folder   2
Head Start, 1966
Box   3
Folder   8
Insurance Policies, 1966-1967
Tax Returns and Related Material
Box   3
Folder   9
City, 1965-1969
Box   3
Folder   10
Federal, 1966-1970
Box   3
Folder   11
State, 1965-1970
Box   3
Folder   12
U.S. Corporation, 1965-1969
Box   3
Folder   13
Tax Exemption Application and Correspondence, 1966-1968
Box   3
Folder   14
Trial Balances, October 1965-October 1966
Series: Organizations and Activities
Box   3
Folder   15
Adult Education - Committee Papers, Evaluations, Press Clippings, 1965-1967
Box   3
Folder   16
Air Pollution - Correspondence and Regulations, 1966
Box   3
Folder   17-18
Arts and Talent Festival - Financial Records, Programs, Clippings and Correspondence, 1965-1968
Box   4
Folder   1
Black Unity League of Kentucky - Correspondence, Clippings, and Memoranda, 1968
Box   4
Folder   2
Braden Sedition Case and KCUA - Correspondence, Memoranda, Legal Documents, Texts of Radio Broadcasts, and Clippings, 1966-1969
Box   4
Folder   3
Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty - Statements and Recommendations, 1966
Box   4
Folder   4
Citizens Metropolitan Planning Council - Newsletters, Speech, and Pamphlet, 1965-1967
Box   4
Folder   5
Coffee House - Plans and Correspondence, 1966-1967
Community Action Commission
Box   4
Folder   6-8
Application for Funding, 1966
Box   4
Folder   9
Budgets and Financial Reports, 1965-1967
Box   4
Folder   10
By-laws and Prospectuses, 1965-1968
Box   4
Folder   11
Correspondence, 1965-1969
Box   4
Folder   12
Elections, 1967
Box   4
Folder   13
Legal Services, 1966
Box   4
Folder   14
Memoranda, 1965-1969
Box   5
Folder   1
Minutes, 1965-1969
Box   5
Folder   2
Newspaper Clippings, 1967
Box   5
Folder   3
Organizational Papers, 1966-1967
Box   5
Folder   4
Pamphlets and Newsletters, 1966-1969
Box   5
Folder   5
Program Development and Evaluation, 1965-1967
Box   5
Folder   6-7
Program Evaluations, 1967
Box   5
Folder   8-9
Program Proposals and Reports, 1966-1969
Box   5
Folder   10
Reference Material
Box   5
Folder   11
Requisitions and Financial Reports from WECC, 1965-1967
Box   6
Folder   1
Community Action on Metropolitan Problems - Minutes, Memoranda, Clippings, and Notes, 1966-1967
Box   6
Folder   2
Community Organizer Applications, 1966
Box   6
Folder   3
Community Organizers and Resident Organizers - Memoranda and Reports of Activities, 1965-1967
DuValle Area
Box   6
Folder   4
Broader Visions Summer Program, 1967
Box   6
Folder   5
Club Members, 1966
Box   7
Folder   1
Memoranda, Pamphlets, Newsletters, 1966-1967
Box   7
Folder   2
Minutes, November 1965-August 1967
Box   7
Folder   3
Educational Issues - Correspondence, Memoranda, Clippings, Statements, 1967
Box   7
Folder   4
Employment Survey, 1967-1968 - Report, Statistics, Press Clippings
Head Start
Box   7
Folder   5
Correspondence and Memoranda, 1965-1967
Box   7
Folder   6
Financial Records, 1965-1967
Box   7
Folder   7
Minutes and Reports of Activities, 1965-1966
Box   7
Folder   8
Personnel Applications and Evaluations, 1965-1967
Box   7
Folder   9
Reports and Evaluations, 1966-1969
Box   7
Folder   10
Health and Welfare Council of Louisville - By-laws, Correspondence, Report, Pamphlet, 1964-1967
Box   7
Folder   11
Housing Cases and Complaints - Correspondence, Legal Documents, Lists of Tenants, 1964-1969
Box   7
Folder   12
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights - Plan and Correspondence, 1966-1969
Box   7
Folder   13
Louisville Board of Education - Memoranda, 1967
Box   7
Folder   14
Louisville Human Relations Commission - Constitution, Correspondence, Minutes, Reports, 1963-1968
Box   7
Folder   15
Louisville Natural History Museum - Proposal and Resolution, 1967
Box   8
Folder   1
Louisville School System - Reference Materials, 1958-1967
Box   8
Folder   2
Louisville Urban Affairs Unlimited - Proposal, Minutes, Memoranda, 1967
Box   8
Folder   3
Louisville Urban League - Correspondence and Program Proposal, 1966-1967
Louisville Welfare Rights Organization
Box   8
Folder   4
Charter and Description
Box   8
Folder   5
Correspondence, 1967-1968
Box   8
Folder   6
Membership Lists, 1967
Box   8
Folder   7
Petitions and Reply, 1967-1968
Box   8
Folder   8
Press Clippings, Publicity and Notes, 1967-1968
Box   8
Folder   9
Louisville Youth Commission - Newspaper Clippings, 1965
Box   8
Folder   10
Miscellaneous Louisville Social Organizations - Newsletters, Reports, Memoranda, 1964-1969
Box   8
Folder   11
NAACP, Louisville Branch - Correspondence and Agenda, 1967-1968
Box   8
Folder   12
National Association of Intergroup Relations Officials - Minutes, 1966-1967
Box   8
Folder   13
National Conference of Christians and Jews, Conference at Carrollton, Kentucky, February 1967 - Agenda, Reports, Newsletter
Box   8
Folder   14
Newspaper Clippings on WECC Activities and Members, 1963-1966
Open Housing
Box   8
Folder   15
Miscellaneous Reference Materials, 1966-1969
Box   8
Folder   16
Newspaper Clippings, 1966-1969
Box   8
Folder   17
Petitions, undated
Box   8
Folder   18
People's Action Council - Correspondence, 1966
Box   8
Folder   19
Performance of the “The Believers,” February 1969 - Program and Financial Records
Box   8
Folder   20
Performance of Les Danseurs Africains, December 1968 - Program, Correspondence
PH Mss 554
Photographs and Negatives
Mss 554
Box   8
Folder   21
Public Housing Tenant Association - Reports and Newsletter, 1967
Box   8
Folder   22
School Desegregation - Census and Statistics, 1964
Box   8
Folder   23
Shawnee Community Club -Minutes and Membership Rosters, 1966
Box   8
Folder   24
Southwick Area Committee - Minutes and Correspondence, 1965
Box   8
Folder   25
Southwick Area - Newspaper Clippings, 1965
Box   8
Folder   26
Southwick Housing Questionnaire, undated
Box   8
Folder   27
Southwick Special Committee of the Louisville Area Council on Religion and Race - Correspondence and Petitions, 1965-1966
Box   8
Folder   28
Trip to Martin Luther King's Funeral in Atlanta - Correspondence and Donations, April-May 1968
Urban Renewal
Box   8
Folder   29
Case Studies, 1967-1968
Box   9
Folder   1
Correspondence, 1965-1968
Box   9
Folder   2
Letters to Displaced Persons, July 1967
Box   9
Folder   3
Memoranda and Notes, 1966-1967
Box   9
Folder   4
Newspaper Clippings, 1967-1968
Box   9
Folder   5
Urban Training Center - Proposal and Correspondence, 1967
Box   9
Folder   6
Various Activities of WECC - Reports, Memoranda, and Agenda, 1966-1969
Box   9
Folder   7
Various Religious Organizations - Memoranda, Correspondence, Notes, 1963-1969
VISTA
Box   9
Folder   8
Correspondence, Minutes, Memoranda, and Clippings, 1966-1968
Box   9
Folder   9
Financial Records - Correspondence and Accounting Records, 1968-1969
Box   9
Folder   10
Program Applications and Proposals, 1966-1967
Box   9
Folder   11
VISTA Volunteers, December 1966-August 1967
Box   9
Folder   12
Voice, 1964-1969
Box   9
Folder   13
Voter Registration - Newspaper Clippings and List of Voters, 1965, 1967
Box   9
Folder   14
Welfare - Correspondence and Reference Material, 1963-1968
Box   9
Folder   15
Welfare and Food Stamps - Newspaper Clippings, 1966-1968
Box   9
Folder   16
Welfare Grievances, Appeals Decisions and Correspondence, 1966-1967
Box   9
Folder   17
Welfare Issues - Minutes and Notes, 1966-1967
Box   10
Folder   1
Welfare Rights March and Campaign, July 1966 - Press Clippings
Box   10
Folder   2
Welfare Rights March, Washington, D.C., September 1966
Box   10
Folder   3
West Louisville Cooperative Ministry - Proposal and Minutes, 1966-1967
Box   10
Folder   4
West Side Players- Correspondence and Programs, 1968-1969
Box   10
Folder   5
Workshop, September 14, 1968 - Agenda and Notes
Box   10
Folder   6
Youth Opportunity Programs - Project Guidelines and Newsletter, 1964-1967