See Southern Regional Council.
The Virginia Council on Human Relations (VCHR) was one of twelve state Councils on Human Relations established by the Southern Regional Council of Atlanta, Georgia. Organized in 1955 as a nonpolitical, nondenominational, nonprofit, interracial organization, the VCHR used fact-finding, education, communication, negotiation, and persuasion to improve human relations in Virginia. The VCHR tried to prevent human relations conflicts and solve existing problems by organizing local residents in numerous communities. During the 1950s and 1960s the VCHR supported thirty-two local chapters. These local groups provided forums for community leaders and interested citizens to discuss methods of building better community relations and avoiding conflicts, tensions, and misunderstandings among the citizenry. Recognizing the importance of youth as future leaders, the VCHR also created several youth Councils on Human Relations as well as the Virginia College Council on Human Relations.
As an advocate of equal employment opportunity, the VCHR was instrumental in convincing Virginian businesses to adhere to a policy of employment based on merit. This resulted in 1963 in the establishment of the Virginia Equal Job Opportunity Bureau (VEJOB). Funded by a grant from the Field Foundation, the VEJOB was a private, nonprofit consulting service for Virginian businessmen who wanted to comply with federal requirements for equal employment opportunities. The VCHR was also committed to equal opportunity in public accommodation, housing, transportation, health, and law enforcement, and it supported school desegregation, antipoverty programs, and voter registration projects. The council ceased to function during the 1960s.
Kimberly E. Nichols
The Visions Foundation, founded in 1983, seeks to increase awareness of and educate the public about the contributions of African Americans to American culture. Supported by the Smithsonian Institution, the foundation publishes a monthly magazine, American Visions: The Magazine of Afro-American Culture, which explores the uniqueness of the African American experience. The foundation also supports the publication of books, including local and national guides to places of historic and cultural interest with African American ties. The foundation is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has currently approximately 60,000 members.
Virginia M. Matthews