Women's Action Committee For Victory and Lasting Peace Convention in Louisville, KY(start date: 1946 - end date: 1946)
While preparing for their convention in Louisville in 1946, the Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace (WACVLP) was met with the challenge of segregation at the convention hotel. Mrs. Vera Whitehouse was chair of the WACVLP. The organization planned to hold the convention with its delegates from the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). The executive secretary of the NACW, Mrs. Christine Smith, refused to send delegates if the housing arrangements at the convention were to be segregated. The WACVLP considered moving the convention to Ohio if the segregated housing situation in Louisville could not be resolved.
The Louisville hotel association discussed the matter with the WACVLP and it was decided that Negro delegates could attend the meetings, take meals, and use the same elevator as the white members. A colored pastor, Rev. Offutt, agreed to find rooms in private homes for the Negro delegates attending the convention.
The Negro delegates included Miss Jane Hunter of Cleveland; Mrs. Audley Moore of New York; Mrs. Jane Spaulding of West Virginia; Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune from Washington, D.C., member of the National Council of Negro Women; Mrs. Sadie M. Alexander, an attorney in Philadelphia; and Mrs. L. B. Fouse of Louisville.
Members of the WACVLP included Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, Mrs. Paul Mellon, Dean Virginia Gildersleeve, Mrs. Anne O'Hare McCormick, Mrs. Ogdon Reid, Miss Dorothy Thompson, and Dr. Emily Hickman.
As the negotiations continued, it was soon too late to move the convention to Ohio and the concession was for the Negro delegates to be able to eat, meet, and use the same elevator as the white delegates; but the hotel association would not budge on the segregated housing. The WACVLP accepted the terms. In response, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune declined to attend the convention. Mrs. Christine Smith withdrew the names of the five delegates who were members of the NACW. Mrs. Audley Moore of New York, a member of the WACVLP, accepted the terms and agreed to attend the convention.
Negro delegates who actually attended the WACVLP Convention were Mrs. Mary F. Waring, who lived in Chicago and had grown up in Louisville; Mrs. Joy H. Earl of Cleveland. OH; and Mrs. Emma Shores of Canton, OH.
For more see "NACW strikes blow against Ky. Jim-Crow," The Afro American, 2/23/1946, p.15; "Women leaders refuse Jim-Crow offering of Action Committee: colored delegates may eat but not room in Ky. hotel," The Afro American, 4/6/1946, p. 12; and "Leaders shun Ky. meeting," Baltimore Afro-American, 4/30/1946, p. 4.
*The Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace was formerly the Committee on the Cause and Cure for War that was organized in 1925 after the U.S. rejection of the League of Nations. The Committee on the Cause and Cure for War had a name change in 1940 to the WACVLP. The name would change again to the Committee on Education for Lasting Peace. For more see the finding aid at Harvard University Library for Committee on the Cause and Cure of War. Records, 1923-1948.