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In 1943, there was a visible shift in conversations about race at the University of Richmond, and the shift was visible within the Collegian. While the earliest years of the decade had been full of presentations and lectures on different races, cultures, and traditions, they had been almost exclusively informative. Most of these discussions revolved around the culture and current events of Japan. In 1940, the International Relations Club had an event in which an international student spoke about his experiences growing up in different regions throughout Asia. In 1942, a student named B. Rouzie wrote a column in which he praised Japanese culture and its beauty. These earlier discussions of race were rarely used to explicate potential societal problems.
Near the end of 1943, the Collegian began covering events focused on conversations about domestic race relations. The newspaper reported that Reverend Richard McKinney--a prominent professor at the historically black Virginia Union University--had an upcoming role as forum leader in a discussion on race relations and the Durham conference. The University allowed distinguished African-American leaders to contribute their thoughts to the students of Richmond and Westhampton Colleges.
In January of 1944, the Richmond College Y.M.C.A. announced the creation of the Richmond Intercollegiate (Christian) Council. This council had been formed to be representative of both “white and colored races,” from eight schools in the Richmond area. From the outset, the RIC stated that its focus was to be on Virginia race relations, and its goal was to form bonds with the students from other colleges. The leaders of the RIC announced their intent to hold weekly forums to discuss race relations and to network with other students. Russell Jones was identified as the president of the Richmond chapter, and was accredited through his leadership roles in the national and Virginia Union University Y.M.C.A.
Following the initiation and establishment of the RIC, the Collegian periodically reported on the events of the forums and the progress of the council. The Collegian reported their plans for summer, their statement of principles, and general messages they hoped to spread to the student body. The relationship that was established with the Collegian and the RIC was a catalyst in students' protests against the case of Russell Jones. While forums were being regularly held at schools throughout Richmond, Jones, who was president of the RIC, came to the University of Richmond in order to share his council’s message and goals, and to encourage students to join him in talking about the future of race relations. It must have been a sharp slap to the students, fresh out of a meeting about inclusivity, to see Jones denied the “honor” of eating with them.