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AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Office records

Identifier: L1985-16

Scope and Content of the Records

The records, 1974-1984, of the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Office consist primarily of correspondence and printed material pertaining to E. T. (A1) Kehrer's involvement with such community action groups in Georgia as the American Red Cross, the Children's Foundation, the Georgia Employment and Training Council, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Humanities, the Joint Council on Economic Education, the Georgia Council on Economic Education, Georgia Citizens for the Arts, the Coalition for a March on Reidsville, the Committee for Survival, and the Committee to Stop Children's Murders. Among the activities documented are the Red Cross' Coastline Disaster Project (1980-1984), the J. P. Stevens Boycott Campaign (1976-1981), the Alliance for Citizen's Education Conference (1978), the Conference on Effective State and Local Leadership in Education (1980), and the Southeastern Dialogue on the Changing World Economy (1980).


  • 1974-1984


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
Oversized materials stored off-site. Contact archivist in advance to view these materials; 24-hour notice is required.

Biography of E. T. (Al) Kehrer

Born in 1921 near Brighton, Michigan, Elmer Thomas "Al" Kehrer received his BA degree in 1947 from Olivet College, a liberal arts institution in Olivet, Michigan. In 1948, Kehrer obtained his MA degree in economics from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Kehrer had apparently interrupted his studies at Olivet to enter the Maritime Service from 1943 to 1946. Before attending Olivet and Yale, Kehrer had been a student organizer for the United Auto Workers (1936) and had done field work for the Ship's Clerk Association in Los Angeles (1944). After completing his master's at Yale, Kehrer worked as a field representative for the American Federation of Labor's Worker's Education Bureau. The employees of the bureau were members of Local 189 of the American Federation of Teachers, and Kehrer served as the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 189. From 1950 to 1953 Kehrer served as the Assistant Director of the Officer's Training Institute of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union.

Relocating to Atlanta from New York in 1953, Kehrer became the Southeastern Regional Director of the ILGWU, remaining at that post through 1964. In 1965, Kehrer became the Southern Director for the AFL-CIO's Civil Rights Department, remaining there until his retirement in 1989.

Kehrer's civic and political interests encompassed activity in the Georgia Democratic Party, where he served on the Executive Committee; as a board member of the Southern Regional Council; and on the Southeastern Advisory Council of the American Red Cross. In 1966 Kehrer helped to form and serve as an officer of the Georgia Democratic Party Forum and the Ellis Arnall Write-In Campaign, efforts aimed at electing a slate of Loyalist national Democrats as delegates to the 1968 Democratic National Convention and electing Ellis Arnall Governor of Georgia. Kehrer also participated in activities of the Organized Labor and Workmen's Circle banquet committee, and served as President of the Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger. Kehrer has been a long-time member of Atlanta's Central Presbyterian Church, and has been active in lay organizations in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). He died in 1996.


5 Linear Feet (in 12 boxes)

Language of Materials



AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Office records, 1974-1984, consists of correspondence and printed materials pertaining to E.T. Kehrer's involvement with community action groups.

Off-Site Storage

Oversized materials stored off-site. Contact archivist in advance to view these materials; 24-hour notice is required.

Acquisition Information

Donated by E. T. (Al) Kehrer on April 15, 1985.

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. E. T. Kehrer Papers, 1940-1989 (L1989-22)
  2. AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southern Region records, 1963-1972 (L1973-05)
  3. AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southern Office records, 1964-1979 (L1983-26)
  4. AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Region records, 1966-1986 (L1988-22)
  5. AFL-CIO Southern Area Civil Rights Department records, 1962-1988 (L1989-17)

Separated Materials

During processing, materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives Collections. For pamphlets, see the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection finding aid (note that this collection has been weeded over time). For periodicals, see the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection finding aid or catalog. For oversized materials, consult Special Collections for access.

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection

  1. (2) AFL-CIO: Department of Community Services; AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department, undated [L1985-16]
  2. (3) Crime: Atlanta Child Murders, c. 1981 [L1985-16]
  3. (3) Food Stamp Program, 1981 [L1985-16]
  4. Georgia Employment and Training Council, undated [L1985-16]
  5. Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Bill, 1976 [L1985-16]
  6. (12) J. P. Stevens Boycott, 1978, 1979 [L1985-16]

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection

  1. Fair Measure, 1978; 1979
  2. Georgia Employment and Training Council Newsletter, 1978-1983
  3. Social Justice, 1976-1980
  4. Stevens People, 1980

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Oversize Location

  1. Eight (8) items including three (3) posters that describe the development of the federal budget, two (2) newspaper articles on ACTWU organizer Crystal Lee Sutton, a newspaper advertisement concerning the Stevens boycott, a poster concerning the Stevens boycott, and a poster announcing the showing of the film "Norma Rae" at Georgia State University. Oversize located in 16th drawer from top. [L1985-16, DH OS map-case, drawer 16]

Processing Information

Inventoried by James B. Murray at the file level, June 25, 1985.
AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department, Southeastern Office [L1985-16]:
A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • June 2001: EAD finding aid created by Apex Data Services.
  • 2005, 2007: EAD edited by William Hardesty.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)