Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michelle Brattain - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Steffen


This thesis is a study of the Community Relations Department of the Southern Organizing Committee of the Congress of Industrial Organizations during the CIO’s Southern Organizing Drive, often referred to as “Operation Dixie.” The Community Relations Department was primarily interested in improving relations between organized labor and organized religion, in the hopes that improved church-labor relations would produce a situation more conducive to labor organizing, and reduce attacks on the CIO from religious leaders. This thesis examines the methods utilized by the CRD to achieve this end, and presents an analysis both of their efficacy and of their implementation. Specific programs that are explored are the CRD’s compilation, and publication, of various religiously themed pamphlets, the formation of Religion and Labor Fellowship groups, and the CRD’s relations with various anti-labor newspapers that made use of religious arguments to attack the CIO and Operation Dixie.


Included in

History Commons