Sign In For Members Join Sign In
  • Donate

  • For Members

  • Who We Are

  • Our Mission Our Faith Our History Supreme Officers About Membership Video Library
  • What We Do

  • Charity Insurance Invest Donor-Advised Funds Programs Scholarships Churchloan
  • Get Involved

  • Join Donate Find a Council Store College Councils
  • News Hub

  • Latest News Columbia Knightline Faith Response Social Media Hub
  • Contact Us

  • Safe Environment Program

  • Careers

  • Who We Are

    What We Do

    Get Involved

    News Hub


    WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus was founded with a framework to support membership drawn from the broadest possible diversity of practicing Catholic men and was, at the time of its founding, the only American fraternal society that did not prohibit membership on the basis of race; and

    WHEREAS, one of the Order’s original incorporators, Supreme Secretary Daniel Colwell, described a purpose of the Knights of Columbus to be a social and fraternal organization that would “unify American Catholic citizens of every national and racial origin…giving scope and purpose to their aims as Catholics and as Americans;” and

    WHEREAS, in the early 1900s, the Knights of Columbus promoted missionary work among African American communities by supporting initiatives such as a college for African American Catholic catechists in Montgomery, Alabama; and

    WHEREAS, the Order’s commitment to racial diversity was substantially expressed in 1905 with the establishment of the Knights of Columbus in Mexico—paving the way for expansion into the Philippines less than a decade later and continued growth throughout the world; and

    WHEREAS, during World War I, the Knights of Columbus hospitality huts were the only integrated facilities available to troops advertising such with their well-known motto, “Everybody Welcome.  Everything Free;” and

    WHEREAS, in the 1920s and 1930s, the Knights of Columbus banded together with African American, Jewish, and other minority communities to combat the evil actions and propaganda of the Ku Klux Klan leading the Klan to specifically cite the Order as “the organization most interested in [its] destruction;” and

    WHEREAS, in 1921 the Knights of Columbus established its K of C Historical Commission to combat prejudice with education by addressing omissions in generally Anglo-centric histories of America and, as part of this initiative, commissioned NAACP Co-Founder W.E.B. DuBois who in turn authored The Gift of Black Folk: The Negroes in the Making of America; and

    WHEREAS, in recognition of the important and historical nature of the 1963 March on Washington, the Knights of Columbus provided grants totaling $25,000 to provide for the lodging of clergy; and

    WHEREAS, when it became known that some councils were preventing African American men from joining the Order in violation of the Constitution, Laws, and Rules, the delegates to the 82nd Supreme Convention held in 1964 amended the bylaws to “remove forever the opportunity of prejudice” in admissions; and

    WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus applied social and economic pressure to the site of the 1964 Supreme Convention, the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, forcing its owner to finally end its segregationist policies or lose the convention; and

    WHEREAS, in 2017, the Knights of Columbus supported the foundation of the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism to further the Church’s response to the sin of racism, with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson serving as a consultant to the committee; and

    WHEREAS, in June 2020, the Knights of Columbus asked all people to come together in solidarity to forge a path forward free of discrimination and hate by calling for a Novena for National Unity and an End to Racism; and

    WHEREAS, Pope Francis has been clear that, “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life;” and

    WHEREAS, the Holy Father has commended the Knights of Columbus for exemplifying our second principle of unity, noting that “In a world devastated by violence, injustice and growing polarization, this witness of unity in service to the Gospel has become all the more timely and urgent.”

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus recommits itself to exemplifying our principle of fraternity and reiterating our commitment that all eligible Catholic men are welcomed and invited to join our ranks; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that we take to heart the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that “injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere,” by pledging to continue supporting projects that create opportunity for people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that we pledge to answer the Gospel calling to build a civilization of love by committing ourselves to following Christ’s example of praying for unity among all people of goodwill; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that as we endeavor to build on our history of promoting a true understanding of fraternal unity and inclusion, we will make the words of Dr. King from his Birmingham jail cell our own, that “Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.  We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”


    Knights of Columbus 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510 203-752-4000

    Connect With #KOFC

    Who We Are

    Our Mission Our Faith Our History Supreme Officers About Membership Video Library

    What We Do

    Charity Insurance Invest Programs Scholarships Churchloan

    Get Involved

    Join Donate Find a Council Store College Councils

    Member Resources

    Sign In For Members Safe Environment Program Brand Assets Benefits
    This website uses cookies, including third-party cookies, to optimize the functionality of the website and for website analysis and statistics. To find out more about cookies and how to change your cookie settings, please go to our Cookie Policy. Click Allow if you agree to the use of cookies.