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Center for Democratic Renewal records

Identifier: aarl008-010

Scope and Contents note

The CDR Records contain correspondence, publications, newspapers, articles, newsletters, notes, financial records, brochures, audio-visual material, books, programs, grant proposals, photographs, reports, and ephemera.

The box inventories list a folder title only once; there may be multiple folders for one title. The majority of the collection's dates are between 1979-2008, with some 1960s and 1970s material in the Research series.


  • 1979-2008


Biographical/Historical note

In existence from 1979-2008, Reverent C.T. Vivian and Anne Braden founded the National Anti-Klan Network, becoming the Center for Democratic Renewal in 1985. The CDR’s mission was dedicated to the advancement of a democratic, diverse and just society, free of racism and bigotry. The CDR monitored hate crimes as well as hate groups and was best known for their research, publications, public information, training and helping local communities to address hate activities.

The CDR helped put language that included sexual orientation in the Hate Crimes Statistical Reporting Act (1990). They were the first to expose the skinhead movement, the Christian Identity Church (white supremacist theology), and the epidemic of black church burnings in the South. They worked in collaboration with the National Council of Churches as a research arm and to enact the federal Church Arson Task Force. The CDR convened the first Hate Crime Summit and the first national summit of diverse young leaders on youth and hate Violence. The organization also founded the National Coalition of Burned Churches to address the continuing arsons and out of the CDR’s Southern Action Project, established the National Southern Coalition Against Racism and Bigotry that involved 80 organizations.

Staff included: Chris Freeman, Haima Major, Czerny Miller, Trish O’Kane, Arndrea Waters, Daniel Levitas, Lynora Williams, Lynn Wells, Joann Watson, and Leonard Zeskind, Beni Ivey. Board of Directors included: C.T. Vivian, Anne Braden, Martin Luther King III, Charles Fulwood, Ralph Paige, Julian Bond, Judy Hanenkrat, Hilary Shelton, Leah Wise, Tom Turnipseed, Eva Sears, and Lucius Walker.

[Note: Description modified from the CDR publication “When Hate Groups Come to Town: Faith Based Edition.”]


449.0 Linear feet



Arrangement note

The Center for Democratic Renewal Records are organized into 7 series: Series I: Administrative; Series II: Development and Fundraising; Series III Programs and Proposals; Series IV: Publications; Series V: Research; Series VI: Photographs; Series VII: Audio-Visual.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The Center for Democratic Renewal Records were donated by the organization in 2008.

Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Processsed by Cheryl Oestreicher, Michael Kaiser, and Sean Byrnes
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Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303