The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee was first established by Mayor James Saxon Smith as the Mayor's Friendly Relationship Committee in 1960. The committee was formed in response to sit-in demonstrations at lunch counters led by Johnson C. Smith students in uptown Charlotte on February 12, 1960, which were organized to push Charlotte restaurants to desegregate and serve both black and white patrons. Mayor Smith established the committee to facilitate dialog between protestors and restauranteurs, who were able to come to an agreement and integrate many of Charlotte's restaurants in the early 1960s. Mayor Stanford R. Brookshire (1961-1969) broadened the scope of the committee to include issues of housing, education, equal opportunities for work, crime, and the impact of segregation on communities, and changed the name of the committee to the Mayor's Community Relations Committee in 1961.
The committee's name changed again in 1969 to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee to reflect the broader membership through appointments by the chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee is composed of 60 members who are appointed for three year terms. The appointments are made by the mayor of Charlotte and the chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. The Committee's responsibilities include studying problems in the areas of human and community relations and to make the results available to the public and promoting the quality of opportunity for all citizens.