History of Michigan Roundtable
The Detroit Roundtable of Catholics, Jews and Protestants grew out of the Detroit Council of Catholics, Jews and Protestants, founded in 1941. It is the oldest of the organizations that has been involved in race relations in Detroit. The organization was a response to “the growth of totalitarianism abroad and divisions within the Detroit community inﬂamed by such preachers/ politicians as Gerald L. K. Smith and Father Coughlin. The aim of the Roundtable was to foster religious and racial brotherhood and to counter those who would divide the community [on] religious or racial lines” (Michigan Roundtable, n.d.-b). The organization carried out this aim by conducting and sponsoring seminars, workshops, lectures, dinners, and annual Brotherhood Week observances (Michigan Roundtable, n.d.-b).
Throughout its long and distinguished history of combating discrimination and promoting religious and racial harmony, the Roundtable has changed its name several times, “reflecting changes in scope and objectives.” First, it was the Detroit Roundtable, then it became the Greater Detroit Roundtable of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, next it became the Greater Detroit Interfaith Roundtable, the National Conference for Community and Justice of Michigan and in 2006, it changed its name to the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity (Michigan Roundtable, n.d.-b).