The Commission meets on the second Thursday of each month, 5:30 p.m.
at Festival Park Plaza Training Room, 225 Ray Avenue, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Historical Overview of the Human Relations Commission
The first Bi-Racial Committee was established in the early 1960’s with the objective of achieving better opportunities and equal rights for minority people. Some progress was made; however, student demonstrations under the direction of the N.A.A.C.P. were begun in May of 1963 to hasten desegregation.
Mayor A. Wilbur Clark, on June 20, 1963, formed the first Bi-Racial Committee to negotiate with the local council of the N.A.A.C.P. to establish the objectives of peaceful desegregation in the community.
The first committee report was issued on July 19, 1963, and as a result of the many progressive steps the local council of the N.A.A.C.P. called a halt to demonstrations.
During 1963-1964, the committees observed many other phases of our lives where major changes took place: employment, Police, Fire Department, hospitals, cafeteria facilities, various institutions, drive-in theatres, local bowling lanes, and professional organizations.
Fayetteville in 1963, moved ahead of other cities in eastern North Carolina in opening “public accommodations” and “tax supported facilities.”
In 1964, the Fayetteville Good Neighbor Council was appointed by the Mayor at the urging of Bi-Racial Committees to work on equal employment opportunities. In spite of good intentions of the Council, no meaningful work was accomplished. This may have been due to a lack of communication by the Council.
The second Mayor’s Bi-Racial Committee on April 28, 1965, recommended that the incoming Mayor and City Council create, by ordinance, a Human Relations Committee. The Committee was to be composed of nine or more local citizens, the membership to be drawn up from both races. This Committee would advise a small paid staff of at least an Executive Director and a Secretary. The staff would be set up as a City Department in the budget and would work under the City Manager and Human Relations Committee. The Committee also recommended strong emphasis be placed on the entire field of better race relations, but with particular concentration in the fields of equal employment opportunities and job training.
Recommendations were also made to the citizens, professional organizations, Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Fayetteville Association, etc.
Three years later the Council created the Fayetteville Human Relations Advisory Commission and the Human Relations Department to represent the City effort to provide channels through which racial tensions could be reduced and cooperation could be obtained.
The Human Relations Advisory Commission was composed of eleven members representing a racial, ethnic, and economic cross-section of the citizens of Fayetteville. In Addition, there were two students and one ex-officio member from Fort Bragg, respectively. As a governmental body, the Commission was subjected to the same supervision, personnel management, operation, and budget procedures which applied to other City departments.
The Commission’s task was to study problems of discrimination in various areas of human relationships and to encourage fair treatment and mutual understanding among all racial and ethnic groups in Fayetteville. The members of the Commission work without compensation for a two year term. Vacancies on the Commission were filled by the City Council.
THE FCHRC WAS ESTABLISHED BY ORDINANCE IN 1968.
Part II-Code of Ordinances, Chapter 2-Administration, Sec. 2.39, Human Relations Commission Code of Ordinance