George Schermer Papers

Accession Number: 
23 linear feet (46 MB)

George Schermer worked to improve housing, human relations, and urban social problems throughout his career. First with the Chicago Housing Authority as a Supervisor of Tenant Selection and Tenant Services, before moving to Detroit where he worked with the Detroit Housing Commission as Assistant Director for Management. In 1945, Mayor Jeffries appointed Schermer as Director of the Detroit Mayor's Interracial Committee, which he created to help ease tension within the city, especially in the wake of the 1943 riot. Schermer left Detroit in 1953 to begin working as the Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, where he worked for 10 years before resigning. Schermer opened a consulting firm, George Schermer and Associates, and worked with organizations like the Ford Foundation and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, around the country on urban social issues.

In his spare time, Schermer helped initiate the creation of the National Association of Human Rights Workers. He also served as the first President of the Michigan Committee on Civil Rights, as well as being heavily involved in neighborhood communities where he lived, namely Boston-Edison in Detroit and West Mt. Airy in Philadelphia.

The Schermer papers contain materials primarily from his career in Detroit, Philadelphia, and as a consultant. It also contains some personal material from his life outside of work including correspondence as well as his involvement in neighborhood associations and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

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