At the 1940 Southern Conference on Human Welfare, Durr met James A. Dombroswki for the first time. As then founder and administrator of Highlander Folk School, Dombrowski invited Durr and Kathryn Lewis to visit Highlander with him. While there, Durr met with working-class members of the labor movement, an interaction that solidified some of her disappointments in other members of the civil rights front.