FEBRUARY 21, 1948
NEW YORK, Friday—On Sunday, February 22nd, Brotherhood Week begins, and it seems rather ironical that, just before this week is celebrated, some of the Southern Democrats refused to go to the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Washington because the President has upheld the report of his Civil Rights Commission, on which both Northerners and Southerners were represented.
I am willing to believe that some things must be done more slowly in certain places; but how people who have any concept of the world as a whole and the need for peace in that world can feel that a small area of one nation can govern the feelings of races towards each other, is beyond my understanding.
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By contrast, a group here in New York is making an interesting award at a luncheon on February 22nd. The presentation is to two ministers, Dr. Henry A. Atkinson, a Protestant, and Father George B. Ford, a Catholic, for their outstanding contribution to interfaith unity. The award is given by the Men's Club of Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun. Last year it was given to Charles Evans Hughes, Jr., who was chairman of the Mayor's Committee on Unity.
In this case, it is barriers of religion which have been broken down to reach more nearly the ideal of brotherhood. In many ways, religious differences separate people as much as race barriers, so it is a great satisfaction to congratulate Dr. Atkinson and Father Ford on the honor which has come to them.
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Another effort at unity which deserves recognition is the work of the United States National Commission for UNESCO, which has just held its semiannual session in Washington. This group will be extremely useful in helping Europe and Asia to carry through whatever plans they make under the Marshall Plan, since UNESCO is helping with educational reconstruction and making studies on the role of the social sciences and the tensions conducive to war.
These national committees are a great help in educating individual nations and it is to be hoped that, as the economic situation of various nations improves, the number of national committees such as this will spread, so that the work of UNESCO may become familiar to all the nations of the world.
It is interesting to know that among the organizations carrying on educational work which has been approved, are such groups as our Junior Red Cross, the American Friends Service Committee, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the Institute of International Education, the National Catholic Welfare Conference, and the National Education Association.