Center for Democratic Renewal
"Founded in 1979 as the Anti-Klan Network, the Center for Democratic Renewal is a multiracial organization that advances the vision of a democratic, diverse and just society, free of racism and bigotry. It helps communities combat groups, movements, and government practices that promote hatered and bigotry and is committed to public policies based on equity and justice."
Who We Are
"CDR was co-founded by the legendary civil rights leaders, Rev. C.T. Vivian and by Anne Braden, whom Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" as a white Southerner committed to social justice. CDR began as a network of over 60 civil and human rights groups concerned about the resurgence of violent bigotry against individuals because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. Our Board of Directors consists of the leaders of many of the major civil rights and human rights organizations in America. We work closely with interfaith and religious institutions such as the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church of the USA, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, the National Council of Churches, the American Friends Service Committee as well as various mosques, synagogues and temples.
"Over the years, we have become one of the nation's preeminent organizations working to combat racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. CDR has struggled to make clear the problems associated with racism and bigotry, as well develop transparent strategies and programs that counter the growing culture of hate in America.
"To this end, CDR has been documenting, collecting data and helping community based initiatives to respond to hate. We have published (to broad acclaim) When Hate Groups Come to Town: A Manual of Effective Community Responses, which has been widely utilized by religious institutions, community based groups, civic and civil rights organizations, the media, high schools, colleges and universities. Our research has been a catalyst for public policy initiatives. For example, CDR's Georgia State Climate Report, published in 2000, was the basis for enacting Georgia's first hate crime laws. Legislators indicated that they were previously under the impression that hate crimes were negligible in Georgia based on official reports issued by government agencies.
"Further, CDR helped put language that included sexual orientation in the Hate Crimes Statistical Reporting Act passed in 1990. We were the first in the nation to expose the skinhead movement, the Christian Identity Church (white supremacist theology) as well as the epidemic of black church burnings in the South. We worked in collaboration with the National Council of Churches as a research arm and to enact the federal Church Arson Task Force. CDR convened the country's first Hate Crime Summit and the first national summit of diverse young leaders on youth and hate violence. CDR founded the National Coalition of Burned Churches to address the continuing arsons and recently established the National Southern Coalition Against Racism and Bigotry that involves 80 organizations (still growing) out of our Southern Action Project."
Center for Democratic Renewal
P.O. Box 50469
Atlanta, GA 30302-0469