1970s and 1980s

  • The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social upheaval and protest in much of the United States.  Though the Church Federation resisted the most extreme radicalism of the 1970s, it embraced many changes as well and addressed some of the most pressing issues of the day.
    • For example in 1972, the same year the United States Senate approved the Equal Rights Amendment, the Church Federation chose its first female president, Shirley Norris.

    • Also when Indianapolis received a court order to desegregate public schools by busing students from the inner city to the suburbs, the Church Federation supported the measure and trained chaplains and pastors to help ease tensions during the controversial process. 

  • The Federation social services division continued to help the people of Indianapolis especially in the weight of the global recession of the 1970s.

  • In 1980 the Federation’s Contingency Fund (now called the Benevolence Fund) provided the start-up money for Gleaners’ Food Bank.

  • The Church Federation significantly expanded its diversity of its membership during the 1970s.  By welcoming in the first Catholic parish to be a part of the Federation and accepted Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, and independent congregations as members.


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