National Association of Colored Women's Clubs


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Who Are We

At the call of Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, the National Association of Colored Women's Clubss, Inc. was founded in Washington, D.C. in July 1896 by the merger of the National Federation of Afro-American Women, the Women's Era Clubs of Boston, and the Colored Women's League of Washington, D.C.

The Association became and has remained a significant voice in national affairs and contributed to the uplifting of the American way of life since 1896. Membership includes women and youth in 32 states dedicated to "raising to the highest plane the homelife, moral standards, and civic life of our race." As we continue in the mainstream of economic progression, we, the colored women of the United States of America, stand united for service to humanity.

Our Objectives

  1. To work for the economic, moral, religous and social welfare of women and youth.
  2. To protect the rights of women and youth.
  3. To raise the standard and quality of life in home and family.
  4. To secure and use our influence for the enforcement of civil and political rights for African Americans and all citizens.
  5. To promote the education of women and youth through the work of the departments.
  6. To obtain for African American women the opportunity of reaching the highest levels in all fields of human endeavor.
  7. To promote effective interaction with the male auxiliary.
  8. To promote inter-racial understanding so that justice and good will may prevail among all people.
  9. To hold educational workshops biennially at the Convention.

Our History

In 1895, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin issued a call for a national meeting of Colored Women to take place in Boston, Massachusetts. Following that initial meeting, the National Association of Colored Women's Clubss, Inc. was organized in 1896 in Washington D.C. at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. NACWC grew out of the merger of two nationally representative organizations. The Colored Women's League of Washington and the National Federation of Afro-American Women. Mrs. Mary Church Terrell was elected the first president.

The Colored Women's League was organized in 1893 in Washington, D.C. with Mrs. Helen Cook as President. The National Federation of Afro-American Women had been organized in Boston, Massachusetts in 1895 with Mrs. Booker T. Washington as President.

The birth of NACWC in 1896 marked the beginning of a new era in African American womanhood and provided a vehicle for action through organized effort.

Milestones of Progress

Incorporated July 26, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri
Paid Mortgage on Douglas Home
Established Hallie Quinn Brown Scholarship Loan Fund 1922
Built Douglass Home Caretaker Cottage 1924
Purchased National Headquarters at 1114 0 St., N.W Washington, D.C. 1928
Established National Association of Colored Girls 1930
Purchased current National Headquarters at 1601 R Street, N,W, Washington, D.C. 1954
Paid Mortgage on National Headquarters 1962
Frederick Douglass Home Declared National Shrine by an Act of Congress 1962
Purchased National Headquarters at 5808 16th St., N.W, Washington, D.C. 1970
Paid mortgage on National Headquarters 1978
Organized National Association of Boys Clubs 1980
Established Gertrude Johnson Williams Oratorical Contest for NACWC Youth 1982
Established Male Volunteers 1984
Home and School Institute Mentoring Program instituted
NACWC Record available on microfilm for scholarly research
Built Maternity Healthcare Center in Senegal 1994
Celebrated 100th Anniversary 1996
Organized College Chapters at Texas, Tennessee and Purdue Universities 1997
Initiated pilot project to establish Grandparents Academy 1998
Established the NACWC/Talladega College Education Partnership 1998
Completed renovation of 1601 R Street, N. W. Headquarters 2000
Initiated collaboration with Women for Women 2000
Received grant from estate of Dr. Edmonia Polite to Establish the Patricia L. Fletcher Scholarship 2002
Received first place monetary award from the Black Woman’s Agenda for the Grandparents Academy funded by Annie E. Casey Foundation 2002
Initiated collaboration with Women for Women International 2003
Participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Mary Church Terrell Place in Washington, DC 2004
Commissioned 2nd edition of NACWC Legacy of Service 2005
Celebrated 110th Anniversary in Detroit, Michigan 2006
Hosted a Pre-Inaugural Reception for President Elect Obama 2009
Published "From Then Until Now", a national directory 2010
Named by Ebony Magazine as one of the top 10 non-profit organization in the country 2010