the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati
"To forgo the luxury of separate ways when a common path can be found"

A Brief History of MARCC

In the 1960s, a few religious groups (Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant) were actively interested in “civic responsibilities” working for change in the city, and meeting regularly for discussion of both moral and political issues. Their involvement helped pass at the state level laws prohibiting discrimination of employment, accommodations and housing.

The 1967 riots in Cincinnati awakened a realization that the new laws against discrimination were not yet effective, and stirred many congregational leaders into action. Talk of cooperation and steps taken by religious leaders, such as Bishop Roger Blanchard, Rabbi Albert Goldman and Monsignor Ralph Asplan, with the organizing skills of The Reverend Paul Long, MARCC, The Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, was born. Churches, synagogues, or gatherings were more effective together and now their voices could be heard as one to help to bring about positive change.

On the afternoon of April 4, 1968, Mayor Eugene Ruehlmann convened a meeting of business, educational, industrial, human relations, and community leaders to discuss the city’s deepening racial crisis.  He also sought a voice from the religious community and found it in the first public appearance of the newly-organized MARCC.

Three executive directors have been with MARCC during its 49 year history; the first being Bishop C. Joseph Sprague (1968-1973), followed by the enduring tenure of Reverend Duane Holm (1973-2006) who held the organization together and moved it forward through many challenges, and now Margaret A. Fox (2006- ) who was mentored by both leaders, first as a college intern and then an associate director.
Over the past 49 years, MARCC has been working effectively but quietly behind the scenes with City Council, Cincinnati Police Department, Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cincinnati Public Schools, and Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services, to name only a few.

Each year, MARCC focuses on two main concerns and works to determine the best way to positively impact that concern. To learn about our current concerns, visit the Current Issues page.

In the 21st century MARCC continues to be a vital voice for justice that speaks from a coalition of many faiths.


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Copyright © 2017, Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati
30 W. Garfield Place, Suite 730 Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.721.4843 - Fax: 513.721.4891