Volume 3, Issue 1

November 2010

Jubilee Edition

National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Headquarters 633 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004

Dear NCNW Members: We believe, and we think you do too, that when we stand strong with NCNW, we participate in creating the opportunities that make change happen. In keeping with the vision of Mrs. Bethune, and Dr. Height's efforts to carry out the Legacy, we proudly celebrate 75 years-of-service! We hope you will agree that we have accomplished much together, and have all benefited from a spirit of family and unity of purpose. Your participation truly is important and each of you is vital to the success of NCNW and its mission. Your past support of NCNW has done so much, and we want you to know how much good you are doing every day, through your committed, steady, and reliable membership donations and contributions. Also, you help yourself and others to realize their dreams and find new paths to opportunity. Over the years, we have learned that when opportunities are created for people to get acquainted, to cooperate in stimulating common tasks, and to increase their mutual understanding, their attitudes change and open. We also discovered that if we waited for attitudes to change just through hopeful encouragement, we would be waiting forever. Therefore, let us continue to provide opportunities and create change! Lovingly,

David Glenn, Jr. Director of Membership

Happy 75th Anniversary!

Special Thank You To Ms. Betty K. Stradford For Shared Photos

National Council of Negro Women 1935 ­ 2010

Mary McLeod Bethune, Founder 1935 - 1949

Dr. Dorothy B. Ferebee, President 1949 ­ 1953

Vivian Carter Mason, President 1953 ­ 1957

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Chair/President Emerita 1957 - 2010

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

About Us

For more than 75 years, NCNW has worked to improve the lives of women of African descent, their families, and their communities!


National Council of Negro Women was founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune, child of slave parents, distinguished educator and government consultant. Mrs. Bethune saw the need for harnessing the power and extending the leadership of Black women through a national organization. NCNW is an "organization of organizations," and serves as a clearinghouse for the activities of women. From the beginning, women of all racial and cultural backgrounds were included and welcome to work together. Mrs. Bethune described "the need for a united organization of women to open doors for our young women, united so that when it speaks, its power will be felt." As a voluntary nonprofit membership organization, NCNW helps women to improve the quality of life for themselves, their families, and their community. Through its national affiliate organizations and over 240 community-based, collegiate and youth Sections, NCNW has an outreach to four million women, all contributing to the peaceful solutions of problems of human welfare and rights.

A Powerful Coalition Speaking Truth to Power

As a powerful diverse coalition, NCNW addresses the community concerns of women of African descent and their families with one unified voice. NCNW sponsors economic, educational, social, cultural and scientific self-help projects both nationally, and in communities across the nation. Through its projects, the NCNW strives to achieve equality of opportunity and eliminate prejudice and discrimination based upon race, creed, color, sex or national origin. The National Office of NCNW functions as a central source for program planning. NCNW seeks to fill the gaps that exist in our communities, particularly in meeting the concerns of minority women. Through its core of volunteers in 31 states, the NCNW brings the added support of a network of thousands of volunteers, whose collective efforts can booster community service and actions. NCNW Membership offers women from all walks of life opportunities for leadership development and capacity building. It offers an opportunity for a diverse group of women of African descent, who would not ordinarily do so, to sit at a common table and pool their strengths to resolve common issues for the mutual benefits of all.

NCNW Chair April 2010 ­ Present


Barbara Louise Shaw is the General President Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. A product of four generations in the A.M.E. Zion Church, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, Barbara L. Shaw was spiritually developed and reared in the Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church (Baltimore, Maryland) where she served in many positions. She is a dedicated mother and grandmother who understands and values the importance of family.


Dr. Shaw was educated in the public schools in Baltimore; Morgan State University; and completed graduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Writing. Professionally, she has served as a teacher in the Baltimore City Public School System; a producer with Maryland Public Television; and a Prison Administrator with the State of Maryland. In October, 1997, she retired from the State of Maryland after 30 years of service. In August 2003, Dr. Shaw was elected the 16th General President of the Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In this position, she presides over 800,000+ women on five continents and in August of 2007, she was re-elected as General President. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hood-Speaks Theological Seminary of the University of Calabar (Cross River State, Nigeria, West Africa) in June 2005. In February 2006, Dr. Shaw was the keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founders Day and following her message she received an Honorary Doctorate from Livingstone College (Salisbury, North Carolina). Dr. Shaw is a member of the Executive Board of the National Council of Negro Women and National Chair of the Affiliates Assembly and The Unity Drive. In December 2007 at the National Convention of NCNW, held in Washington, DC, she was elected one of the Vice Chairs of the NCNW Board of Directors. She is also a Member of the Board of Directors Children's Defense Fund; Member of the Board of Trustees Harriett Tubman Home; Member of The Balm in Gilead (a National AIDS Advocacy Organization) Advisory Board; Secretary of the Board Conference of National Black Churches; Member of the Executive Board for Church World Services, and National Council of Churches.

In July 2006, Jeju, Korea, she was installed as the North American Area President of The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. In this position she presides over women representing all divisions of Methodism (United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion & Uniting Churches from the United States, and The Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas). At the 16th World Assembly of the World's Methodist Council, she was elected chairman of the Family Life Committee (a first for the Black Methodist Church). In April 2010 she was appointed Interim Chair of the Board of the National Council of Negro Women, and in May 2010, one month following the death of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, she was elected by the Board of Directors, Chair of the National Council of Negro Women.

Chair's Message Mrs. Bethune always used her hand to illustrate her point, "with one finger she

said, if I tap you, you may not even know that you have been touched. With two fingers, she declared, you may well know that you have been tapped. But if I bring all of my fingers together and make a fist I can give you a mighty blow." That mighty blow was not a violent one at each other, but rather it was recognition that we have each other. We joyfully join together recognizing all the ways we need each other and how we can do more as we are together. We can strike a blow at injustice everywhere. Building on this council idea, you and I empower ourselves. Keeping connected to one another builds our strength and enhances our power. Today NCNW needs you to be connected and you need NCNW to be connected with women around the world. Our families and communities, and indeed, our nation need the talents and gifts we bring. As we look ahead, will you think deeply of the value of being an active part or supporter of an organization that stands up for women? Will you stand up for yourself by joining hands with others? Whatever else it does, NCNW offers that opportunity! The world we envision will be better for us all as we make the Bethune dream and tradition our own.

NCNW Chair

Director of the Research, Public Policy and Information Center (RPPI)

NCNW Executive Director And

Dr. Avis Jones- DeWeever, Ph.D.

On July 7, 2010, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever became the third Executive Director in the

history of the National Council of Negro Women and at only 41, also the youngest. Dr. Jones-DeWeever's appointment to Executive Director comes during a time of heightened awareness of the historic civil and women's rights organization. On the heels of the passing of its legendary leader, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, the appointment of its new Chair, Dr. Barbara L. Shaw, and in the midst of its historic 75th Anniversary, this year has proven to be both tragic and triumphant for the historic organization. Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and energy to her new role at NCNW. Widely revered as an expert in the fields of Race, Gender, Politics, and Policy, she has devoted her professional life to examining how policies impact the lives of women and communities of color while also seeking to advance effective programmatic solutions to long-standing societal challenges. Her career spans stints at several highly esteemed organizations including the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the Institute for Women's Policy Research. But it was only at the Council, that Dr. Jones-DeWeever was able to merge her interest in both race and gender on behalf of producing broad-scale social change. Originally joining the organization in 2007 as the Director of its Research, Public Policy and Information Center, Dr. Jones-DeWeever now ascends to the position of Executive Director bringing with her both external and internal perspectives for the benefit of the organization.

"It is both an honor and a privilege to be one of those charged with the worthy cause of continuing the legacy of our esteemed Founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune as well as our long-time visionary and iconic leader, Dr. Dorothy I. Height. I take seriously this responsibility and look forward to introducing NCNW to the next generation of dynamic African American women," stated Jones-DeWeever. "I have no doubt," she continued, "that together, women from all across this nation will bond together at this critical time to not only continue the legacy that has been bequeathed to us by our tremendous forerunners, but to usher in a new era of relevancy, action, and impact in communities all across this nation and around the world." Dr. Jones-DeWeever is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Virginia State University and holds a Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied under tremendous scholars such as Drs. Linda Williams, Ronald Walters, and Clarence Stone. She brings to NCNW an impressive background as a published author, public speaker, policy analyst, strategist, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. Not a stranger to high profile situations, Dr. Jones-DeWeever has appeared on multiple major television and radio networks including CNN, C-SPAN, ABC, PBS, NPR, Sirius/XM, BBC and American Urban Networks among others. She has also been quoted in numerous major print publications including the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times and Essence and Glamour magazines.

National Board of Directors Executive Committee 2009 ­ 2011

President Emerita*

Dr. Dorothy I. Height


Dr. Barbara L. Shaw

Vice Chairs

Ms. Vivian Pickard Ms. Dawna Michelle Fields Ms. Kennita Riddick (Young Adult) Dr. Thelma T. Daley (Chair, Finance)

Recording Secretary

Ms. Carolyn Y. Matthews

Assistant Recording Secretary

Ms. Anne Lois Keith (Chair, Membership)


Ms. Alotta E. Taylor


Ms. Rockel Etienne Ms. Paula T. Saizan Ms. Deborah Tucker Barrow Ms. Joan Douglas Jordan Mrs. Yvette Stokes-Finney Ms. Tommie R. Whitlow


Mrs. Peola H. McCaskill

Chair, Bethune Recognition

Ms. Esther McCall

Convener, National Affiliates

Ms. Joann W. Williams National President, Las Amigas, Inc. *Deceased

National Affiliates

Ad Hoc Labor Committee Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Auxiliary to the National Medical Association Beta Pi Sigma Sorority, Inc. Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. Chums, Inc. Continental Societies, Inc. Delicados, Inc. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Eta Phi Beta Sorority, inc. Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Grand Temple Daughters of Elks Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. Ladies Auxiliary, Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, National Dental Association Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority Las Amigas, Inc. Les Gemmes, Inc. National Association of Fashion & Accessory Designers National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women's Clubs National Association of University Women National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division National Black Nurses Association, Inc. National Women of Achievement, Inc. Order of the Eastern Stars Phi Delta Kappa National Sorority Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Swing Phi Swing, Social Fellowship, Inc. Tau Gamma Delta Sorority The Charmettes, Inc. Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Twins Social & Civic Club, Inc. Woman's Home & Oversea Missionary Society, AME Zion Women's Convention, Auxiliary to the National Baptist Convention Women's Missionary Council, CME Church Women's Missionary Society, AME Church Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

National State Conveners

California Mrs. James Ella James, Northern Mrs. Othetta Glover, Southern Connecticut Mrs. Eunice McLean Waller Florida Ms. Gertrude H. Peele Georgia Ms. Verdelle B. Bellamy Illinois Ms. Jacquelyn Heath parker Mid-Atlantic Region Dr. Joyce S. Agunbiade, Ph.D., Chair Ms. Crescida R. Cox, Pennsylvania Mississippi Mrs. Emma Moore New Jersey Ms. Evelyn Field New York State Convener's Team Ms. Johnnie M. Walker, Chair Ms. Lynda F. Bagley Mrs. Alla Mai Clark Ms. Ellen F. Haywood Ms. Mary L. Lockett North Carolina Dr. Manderline Scales Ohio Mrs. Gloria L. Chapmon South Carolina Ms. Starlee Alexander Texas Ms. Dorothy Allen Chimney Dr. Mollie A. Williams, Coordinator

National Headquarters Staff

Office of the Chair

Lola Early, Executive Assistant to the Chair

Christine Toney, Administrative Assistant to the Chair

Fannie M. Munlin NCNW United Nations Representative

Office of the Executive Director

Janice Ferebee, MSW, Director, Bethune Program Development Center

Joell Royal, Program Coordinator, Research, Pubic Policy and Information Center

Michelle Holder, Volunteer Coordinator

Sandra Green, Graphics Analyst

(Photo Unavailable)

Betty Stradford, Photographer (Volunteer)

Office of Administration

Cassandra Wint, Director, Office of Administration

Melanie Hill, Office Manager

Office of Finance

Dennis Watkins, Chief Finance Officer

Daphne DeShields, Controller

Cecilia Smith-Budd Accounts Reconciliation

Lawrence Waldron Accounts Payable/Payroll

Office of Membership

David Glenn, Jr., Director of Membership

Patrick Gaines Data Entry Clerk

Margaretta Leary Call Center Clerk/NCNW Receptionist

André Jackson Section Recertification and Files Clerk

NCNW Interns

Chantel Prince University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Sharron Duncan C. H. Flowers High School

Raven Harrod Caesar Chavez Public Charter School

Monique Wint Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School

National Community-based Sections

Alabama Mobile Selma-Dallas County Wilcox County Arizona Metropolitan Sun of Phoenix California Alameda County Athens Westmont Compton East Bay Area East Oakland-Hayward East Palo Alto Fairfield-Suisun-Vacaville Golden Gate High Desert Inland-Empire Long Beach Section Los Angeles Section Los Angeles-View Park Mary McLeod Bethune, Compton Merced County Moreno Valley Orange County Pomona Valley Sacramento Valley San Diego San Francisco San Gabriel Valley Santa Clara County Santa Monica-Venice Southern CA Life Members Vallejo Willa Mae Taylor Colorado Denver Connecticut Greater Bridgeport Greater New Haven Hartford New London District of Columbia Black Adults of Action District of Columbia #2 Greater Washington Life Members Metropolitan Washington Area Washington DC Department of Defense Executive Branch Florida Daytona Beach Greater Orlando Greater Tallahassee Jacksonville Metropolitan Dade County Pensacola St. Petersburg Metropolitan Tampa Metropolitan Georgia Clayton County DeKalb DeKalb Pacesetters Life Members Greater Atlanta Millennium Greater Augusta Greater Hinesville Metropolitan Atlanta Savannah Illinois A.M.E. Zion NW-Chicago District Alton Champaign County Chicago Central Chicago Midwest Cosmopolitan Chicago Ethele Scott Rockford Indiana Gary-Miller Indianapolis Lawrence Indiana Kentucky Lexington-Central Kentucky Louisville Louisiana Baton Rouge Greater New Orleans Shreveport Slidell Maryland Greater Baltimore Mitchellville/Bowie Montgomery County Potomac Valley Prince George's County Massachusetts Greater Boston Michigan Detroit Mississippi Bolivar County Clarke County Delta Gulfport Kosciusko-Attala Laurel Magnolia Bethune-Height Metro Jackson Millennium Natchez Okolona Tri-County Tupelo County Missouri Bertha Black Rhoda Gateway Metropolitan Nebraska Omaha New Jersey Greater Elizabeth Area Montclair New Jersey Life Members Newark North Shore Area Passaic County Plainfield Scotch Plains Rahway Raritan Valley Roselle Section of the Oranges Vauxhall New Mexico Albuquerque New York Bedford Stuyvesant Bronx Brooklyn Co-op City East Bronx Eastern Suffolk Empress Life Members Flatbush Hudson Valley Huntington Long Island Cross County Manhattan Metropolitan Women's Network Midwood & Vicinity Nassau County North Bronx North Queens North Shore-Staten Island Queens County Suffolk County Syracuse Westchester North Carolina Capital Area Charlotte Durham Fayetteville Northeastern North Carolina Winston-Salem Ohio Cincinnati Clark County, Springfield Cleveland Columbus Cuyahoga County Dayton Dayton-Springfield Life Members Lorain County Ohio (Continued) North Ohio Life Members Sandusky Western Reserve Youngstown Pennsylvania Philadelphia Rankin/Mon Valley/Pittsburgh South Carolina Bethune-Leonard N. Charleston Clarendon Colleton Columbia Darlington Dorchester Florence Florence-Bethune Laurens County Lee County Mary McLeod Bethune, Sumter Tennessee Memphis/Shelby County Middle Tennessee Texas Austin Barbara Jordan-Houston Dallas Metropolitan Dallas Southwest Dorothy I. Height, Galena Park Elease Knight, Houston Greater Trinity Juanita Jewel Craft Metro Minnie H. Goodlow Page San Antonio ­ Ruth Jones McLendon T. Mathis Hawkins The Greatness of NW Spring Virginia Newport News-Hampton Norfolk Northern Virginia Northwest Virginia Reston-Dulles Richmond Richmond Life Members Stafford-Fredericksburg Tidewater Virginia Beach Washington Seattle Wisconsin Milwaukee

National Collegiate Sections

Alabama Tuskegee Arizona Arizona State University District of Columbia Howard University Delaware Delaware State University Florida Bethune-Cookman College Florida A&M University Florida State University University of Central Florida University of Florida University of North Florida University of South Florida at Tampa Georgia Georgia State University Georgia Southern University University of Georgia Maryland Bowie State University Campus Morgan State University Coppin State University Michigan Eastern Michigan University University of Michigan North Carolina Fayetteville State University North Carolina Central University Winston-Salem State University University of North Carolina at Pembroke Johnson C. Smith University Ohio Bowling Green State University Pennsylvania Cheyney University Undergraduates Lincoln University Temple University South Carolina Benedict-Byrd College Texas Paul Quinn College Texas College at Tyler

National Youth Sections

California San Gabriel Valley San Diego District of Columbia Spirit of Bethune/Washington Middle School for Girls Florida Destiny's Promise, Tampa Indiana Lawrence Gary-Miller, S. Chanel Woods Kentucky African Jewels, Louisville Maryland Female Achievers Maintaining Excellence Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

Mississippi Bolivar County New York Young Ladies in Progress, Hudson Valley North Shore-Staten Island North Carolina Fayetteville Area The Dreamers, Elizabeth City Durham Ohio Dayton Sara J. Harper's Young Women of Vision, Western Reserve South Carolina Bethune-Leonard, Charleston Florence Councilettes Mary McLeod Bethune, Sumter Virginia Women Empowering Youth

Sections in Reactivation Process And Interest Groups In Process

Alabama University of Alabama California High Desert Youth Carrie Glover Youth, Golden Gate District of Columbia Georgetown University George Washington University Florida Gainesville West Palm Beach Florida Atlantic University Georgia New Rock Gwinnett County Valdosta Spelman College Albany State Illinois Chicago Metropolitan South Suburban Chicago (Reactivation) Ethele Scott Youth Indiana Indianapolis Youth Louisiana Southern University A&M New Orleans Youth Maryland Massachusetts Boston Metropolitan University of Maryland College Park Coppin State Charter School Mitchellville/Bowie Youth Michigan Southeast Michigan Mississippi Clarke County Youth Missouri Kansas City Kansas City Metropolitan St. Louis (Reactivation) New Jersey Seton Hall University (Reactivation) The College of New Jersey (Reactivation) New York Flatbush Youth Syracuse Youth Umoja Youth North Carolina Duke University (Reactivation) Elizabeth City State University Pennsylvania Harmon Junior College South Carolina Greater Columbia Height Greater Midlands Millennium Williamsburg County Tennessee West Tennessee Texas Southwest Suburban, Dallas Juanita Jewel Craft Youth Virginia Future Legends Youth, Richmond

National Program Centers for African American Women

To facilitate the development of national strategies, idea exchange and action, and to

stimulate women and girls to advocate improving the quality of life for themselves, their families, and their communities, the NCNW established four Program Centers and the Dorothy I. Height Leadership Institute: The Bethune Program Development Center The International Development Center The Research, Public Policy, and Information Center The Economic and Entrepreneurial Development Center

Currently, only the Bethune Program Development Center (BPDC) and the Research, Public Policy and Information Center (RPPI) are active.

BPDC supports national and local initiatives aimed at strengthening the ties between girls and women, and offers opportunities for leadership and personal development focusing on health, education and economic empowerment for women and girls of African descent. BPDC continues to encourage all community-based sections to engage girls in their communities and to organize youth sections. RPPI serves as the research/action arm of NCNW. In this capacity, RPPI conducts rigorous research and implements multiple dissemination strategies in order to inform, catalyze and mobilize women of African descent for change in both the policy arena and throughout the broader cultural dynamic. RPPI collects and analyzes data that is both race and gender specific.

The NCNW Centers and the Dorothy I. Height Leadership Institute will provide the structure that will help us solve the problems that confront our children, families, and communities in the Bethune tradition to "leave no one behind."

Bethune Program Development Center (BPDC)

Janice Ferebee, MSW, Director, BPDC


Bethune Program Development Center (BPDC) serves as a clearinghouse and resource for the effective delivery of national and community-based service programs. These programs are designed to support women of African descent in their efforts to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency and strengthen the Black community. BPDC's goal is to build the capacity of NCNW members and sections to respond to the diverse needs of the African-American community, while connecting women of African descent and families to the resources and support necessary to achieve and maintain their full potential. BPDC offers initiatives and programming that focus on women of African descent, their health, education, economic empowerment, and leadership development. The Center stresses the empowerment of girls, ages 12 -18 and young women, ages 19-25, to successfully prosper, compete, and lead. The wide range of activities available through the BPDC are designed to help women improve their lives, strengthen their communities, and prepare the next generation of female leaders and address some of the following issues: HEALTH: Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Obesity Prevention & HIV/AIDS Awareness EDUCATION: Academic Achievement, College Preparation & Technology Access ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: Financial Literacy, Long Term Care Planning & Career Readiness WELL BEING OF WOMEN & GIRLS/ YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: Mentoring, Life Skills Enhancement and Intergenerational Communication

In an effort to attract and engage girls (and boys), ages 12-18, the BPDC has created a local program for youth to come together for meetings, activities, cultural enrichment,

empowerment, and leadership development in the Washington, DC-metro region ­ GLOBAL GIRLS/YOUTH CHANGING THE WORLD. The culmination of the yearlong gatherings and activities is The Annual Global Girls/Youth Changing the World Town Hall Meeting, a themed event held on the first Saturday in August (currently held in Washington, DC - August of 2008 and 2009). Plans are underway to incorporate the Global Girls/Youth Changing the World initiative and Annual Town Hall Meeting throughout the network of NCNW Youth Sections, Affiliate Organizations' youth programs, nationally and internationally. The inaugural meeting of the GLOBAL GIRLS Town Hall Meeting took place on Saturday, August 9, 2008. The 2nd Annual GLOBAL GIRLS Town Hall Meeting took place on Saturday, August 8, 2009, both at the NCNW Headquarters. Although unable to attend the Second Annual Global Girls Town Hall Meeting, actress and activist, Jurnee Smollet, supporter of NCNW's youth engagement, shared these words of encouragement with the girls, "I want to applaud NCNW for being on the frontlines, championing for young people throughout the years; you've helped pave the way for the next generation of global female leaders by challenging us to think globally while serving locally." NCNW continues to provide national and local initiatives aimed at strengthening the ties between girls and women, and offers opportunities for leadership and personal development through the 30+ Youth Sections and 25+ Collegiate Sections. Contact: Janice Ferebee, MSW * Director, Bethune Program Development Center 202.383.9123 * [email protected]

Research, Public Policy and Information (RPPI) Center

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D., NCNW Executive Director and Director, RPPI (left) Joell Royal, Program Center Coordinator


Research, Public policy and Information Center for African American women (RPPI) was launched in September, 2007. Currently led by Executive Director, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, and Joell Royal, Program Coordinator, the RPPI Center serves as the nexus of NCNW's public policy agenda. In that capacity, RPPI collects and analyzes data that is both race and gender specific, assesses trends and policy makers and the public alike and disseminates that information through media engagement and strategic communications actions. RPPI is currently engaged in a wide range of research/action initiatives. Listed below is a selection of our activities: Continually address HIV/AIDS in the African American community, as it specifically relates to women and girls, through various forums, leadership conferences, etc., with a strong focus on dissemination of information, facts and materials to increase education and prevention Infant Mortality ­ Analysis and information Performed HIV and Aids statistical analysis studies and compiled reported findings Hosted the 2nd Annual HIV Testing Day Implemented the Annual national black Women's Town Hall Meeting Partnered with the National Organization of Women and the Institute for Women's Policy Research and Hosted a Women's Economic Justice Summit Developed a Black Women at Work Briefing Paper Series Conducted voter education and engagement efforts Host and conduct healthy relationship forums

For more information on our RPPI Program please visit our website at, email us at [email protected], or call (202) 383-9126.

National Projects

Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI)

RPPI is proud to announce that we are one of many Partner Organizations and Grant Awardees acting on this initiative. The Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative seeks to harness the collective power, strength, and reach of traditional, longstanding African American institutions to increase HIV-related awareness knowledge, and to stimulate and cultivate action within black communities across the United States.

AARP Long Term Care Planning Project

BPDC is excited to take over management of the AARP Long Term Care Planning

project. NCNW was selected along with two other women's organizations (AAUW and MANA, A National Latina Organization) to assist AARP in implementing this project through our membership. The project entails conducting education and awareness activities to educate Boomer women about the need to plan for future long-term care needs. The following sections have been selected to participate: Washington, DC Section, Northern Virginia Section, Greater Baltimore Section, Manhattan Section, and the Passaic, New Jersey Section. Please support these sections by attending this important workshop series if it's in your community. For more information about this topic, go to AARP's site and type in "Long Term Care Planning" in the Search box or go to:

`Fit for Life' Resumed Phase II During Summer 2010

for Life,' the obesity education collaboration project between NCNW and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), resumed Phase II on August 1st after a brief hiatus. A new addition to the project during this phase will be funding from the NICHD/NIH to the NCNW to support the expenses incurred by the 31 Cluster Leaders charged with implementing the project in 26 communities across the country. This Funding will go a long way toward ensuring that more and more parents, caregivers and young people take part in the `Fit for Life' workshops and trainings to help children stay at a healthy weight. We thank the NICHD/NIH for its support!


Infant Mortality ­ Save Our Babies

Did you know...Infant mortality for African Americans is more than double that of the United States as a whole? That's more than 7,500 deaths per year. NCNW in Partnership with the Office of Minority Health presented and hosted the "Save Our Babies Summit," on September 14, 2010, 5:00 pm ­ 9:00 p.m., at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 Seventh Street, NW, Washington, DC, hosted by Radio and Television Personality Jeannie Jones and streamed live on Facebook and Twitter. For more information please visit our website at or email [email protected]

NCNW Events (International, National, and Section) International

From the desk of Ms. Fannie Munlin, NCNW's United Nations Representative:

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) held its 63rd Annual Conference in Melbourne, Australia, August 30 through September 1, 2010 entitled: Advance Global Health: Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Conference focused on eight targeted goals and developing global health strategies which will widely affect the lives of all, through the reduction of poverty, universal education, gender equality, child health; maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. The environmental sustainability of all of the eight goals demands global partnerships to help build healthier societies. This is the first generation of world citizenry with resources, technology, and education, scientific and medical knowledge to make health care accessible and affordable in developing as well as developed societies. The Conference brought together representatives from NGOs, government agencies, academia, scientific and medical communities, public health officials and corporate leaders to help define the roles and responsibilities of each in helping to achieve regionally, nationally and locally, the MDGs to improve the heath status of all citizens. The program will also examine issues of how to strengthen existing systems, and how to harmonize new systems in order to provide comprehensive health care services for all.


25th Annual Black Family Reunion Celebration (BFRC)!

This One Day Mega Fest was held Saturday, September 11, 2010, on the National Mall Grounds, Washington, DC. This year we also celebrated the life of its Founder, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height! The day started with the Prayer Breakfast which featured the Mt. Calvary Celebration Choir, Rev. Al Sharpton as Keynote Speaker, and Ms. Yolanda Adams as host. There were free festival activities and pavilions focusing on Children/Education; Jobs and Economic Empowerment; Health and Fitness; Access College; Teens; Community Service; and Dorothy I. Height/NCNW. The Dorothy I. Height Tribute Concert was free to the public and featured recording artists Chrisette Michele and Musiq Soulchild who were sponsored by Coca Cola, and Regina Belle and J. Moss who were sponsored by McDonalds Inspiration Celebration.

Health and Wellness Pavilion NCNW and Transitions Optical Working Together to Make Eye Health a Priority in the

African-American Community

By Vincent Young, M.D. Chairman, Division of Ophthalmology, Albert Einstein Medical Center

The African-American community is hit hard when it comes to many serious eye health issues ­ with higher prevalence of cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and other diseases. Unfortunately,

research shows that despite their higher risks, many African Americans are unaware of how to protect their vision for the future. Consider that less than half of African Americans have had an eye exam within the past year. i Also alarming, just 7.5 percent of African Americans know the sun can damage their eyesii ­ yet exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can contribute to or worsen eye diseases like cataract, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. There is no doubt that much needs to be done to educate groups at higher risk for eye health issues ­ and encourage them to schedule regular eye exams and wear UV-blocking eyewear. As an ophthalmologist, it always amazes me how many people put off an eye exam because they don't realize they need it (maybe they think they're seeing clearly) ­ or because they're afraid of what may be found. The reality is, even people who are seeing 20/20 can still develop vision problems ­ and the earlier these problems are caught, the easier it is to treat them and prevent permanent vision loss.

NCNW Sets Sight on African-American Eyes

2010 was a milestone year for the NCNW in many ways ­ we said goodbye to historical leader Dorothy Height, celebrated the NCNW's 75th anniversary, and attended the 25th annual Black Family Reunion Celebration on September 11. As part of the NCNW's mission to promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors among African-Americans, this was also the first time eye health education and vision screenings were offered during the event ­ giving spotlight to the strong link between eye- and overall-health. During the Black Family Reunion, I had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with several attendees about the importance of taking care of their eyes ­ and was thrilled at how receptive most people were to learning about their potential risks and how to prevent future problems. At the Transitions Optical booth in the Health and Wellness Pavilion, with the support of America's Best, we were able to provide free vision screenings to more than 200 attendees and schedule nearly 75 appointments for follow-up comprehensive eye exams. Prior to the event, I also traveled with Transitions Optical and VSP Vision Care to provide free full eye exams to children and adults at the local Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, D.C. Many of these people needed vision correction ­ some finding out for the first time ­ and we were able to provide them with free pairs of Transitions lenses on site.

Understanding the Risks

Regular eye care is important for people of all ages ­ but groups at higher risk for eye health issues should be especially diligent with scheduling regular eye exams and wearing the right eyewear to block 100 percent of UV rays and reduce glare. To better care for our vision, it's also imperative that we understand what our risks are. African Americans, for example, are more likely to develop several eye- and overallhealth issues that can take a toll on vision. Examplesiii include: Cataract ­ African Americans are 1.5x more at risk for developing cataract ­ and 5x more likely to develop blindness as a result. Glaucoma ­ African Americans are 5x more likely than Caucasians to develop glaucoma, and 4x more likely to suffer blindness. Diabetes ­ Diabetes can lead to problems in the eye, like diabetic retinopathy. Prevalence is 70% higher in African Americans. Hypertension ­ High blood pressure can impact eyesight and lead to eye disease. African Americans are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure, and 10% less likely to have it under control. HIV/AIDS ­ Trending upward in the African-American population, HIV and AIDS can lead to retinal detachment and blindness within 2-6months. Sickle Cell Disease ­ Sickle cell disease can lead to vision problems and blindness. One in 12 African Americans is a carrier of the sickle-cell trait. Additional information about the eye health needs of African Americans and other groups at risk is available at Help spread the word and put more focus on our eyes.

i ii iii

Journey to Wellness, Nationwide Vision Survey. Transitions Optical, Inc. ICR Media Study, March 2006. Cultural and Linguistic Considerations for Vision Care. 2009, Transitions Optical, Inc.

RPPI Center Helps to Combat HIV/AIDS! "2nd Annual HIV Testing Day"

NCNW Research and Public Policy Information Center (RPPI) for African American Women - Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, Director, and Ms. Joell Royal, Program Coordinator, in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Center for Disease Control, and WHUR 96.3 (Howard University Radio) teamed up for the "2nd Annual HIV Testing Day," June 25, 2010. The event was held outside of the NCNW Headquarters, Washington, DC, from 10:00-3:00 p.m. and broadcasted live with Kelly Strong of WHUR. Free confidential HIV testing was done onsite, as well as, information booths, music, and giveaways. We raffled two Capital Grille Gift certificates, and a $50.00 gift certificate was given to the first person to get tested and one to the first person to join NCNW. By the end of the day 128 persons were tested! To learn more about HIV testing please visit, and to learn more about RPPI please contact (202) 383-9126 or email [email protected]


BPDC Joined Forces for National Dance Day!

Janice Ferebee, MSW, BPDC Director with Nigel Lythgoe of the Hit TV Show

"So You Think You Can Dance"

NCNW headquarters joined forces with WandaWoman® Fitness for National Dance

Day on July 31st on the National Mall in Washington, DC. As you may have heard, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) circulated a Congressional Resolution through Congress to recognize July 31st as National Dance Day. Nigel Lythgoe got word of the resolution and not only announced it on So You Think You Can Dance but attended the July 31st event in Washington, DC with a few of his dance friends! NCNW's own Janice Ferebee (see photo with Nigel Lythgoe), Director of the Bethune Program Development Center and Fitness Diva, joined WandaWoman® Fitness on the National Mall in Washington, DC, to perform and teach the "EVERYBODY WORK IT!" line dance ­ the line dance introduced at the 2009 NCNW Convention (created by Wanda Bamberg). It was a huge success! You can still learn the "EVERYBODY WORK IT!" line dance on YouTube (go to and type in Everybody Work It Line Dance * Video Part 2) and perform it in your communities around the country to promote healthy families.

Section Events

Plaque Design by Norfolk Section, VA

Hat's on for Dr. Dorothy Long Beach Section, CA held its 20th "Hello Sisters Bruch" which honored "Hats on for Dorothy," as well as, their officer installation on June 24, 2010, in the backyard of NCNW long time member Ms. Betty Caruthers-King. Deputy City Manager Mr. Reginald Harrison was in attendance. Cuyahoga County Section, OH held Mt. Haven Missionary Baptist Church's Women's' Day: A Fellowship with the Cuyahoga County Section's "Hats on for Dr. Dorothy" Day, on July 25, 2010. Gary Indiana Section, IN presented a tribute to Dr. Height, "If Hats Could Talk" parade of hats, on July 25, 2010, at First Baptist Church, Gary, IN. A prize was given for the best hat! Long Island Cross County Section, NY held "Hats on for Dorothy" on July 25, 2010 at Jackson Memorial AME Zion Church, NY. Manhattan Section, NY held a "Hats on for Dorothy" forum honoring her life and legacy on August 14, 2010, with Guest Speaker Dawna M. Fields, NCNW Vice Chair, at the Harlem YMCA. Plainfield/Scotch Plains Section, NJ held a "Hats on for Dorothy" gala on August 15, 2010, at the Stage house Tavern in Scotch Plains, NJ. The evening was filled with memories and quotes of Dr. Height, vocals, poetry and the like, and a membership drive.

Planning Meeting Washington Section, DC hosted its Annual Planning Meeting on August 14, 2010, at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. This year's focus was on membership recruitment, retention, and reclamation. The Female Achievers Maintaining Excellence (FAME) Youth, Montgomery County Section, MD attended the 16th Annual Step Afrika! Home Performance Series on June 19th as part of their NCNW Youth Planning Committee activities. The performance was electrifying and the youth section members got a chance to meet some of the performers after the show. New Officer and Section Installation Albuquerque Section, NM on May 22, 2010, elected as President a woman of nonAfrican descent. President-elect Cate Stetson won as a write-in candidate. She had previously served for 4 years on the Albuquerque Section Executive Board as Corresponding Secretary, and served as the Albuquerque Section Ways and Means Chair 5 years ago. Norfolk Section, VA held an Open House and installed their newly Elected Officers at the Oakmont Family Investment Center on June 12, 2010. North Shore-Staten Island Section, NY held their Officer Installation at Faith United Methodist Church on June 27, 2010. Texas Unity Luncheon, and installation of the newly chartered "San Antonio ­ Ruth Jones McClendon" Section was held Saturday, August 14, 2010, at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel, Dr. Barbara L. Shaw, Chair, was the Guest Speaker and administered the pledge and oath of office. Fayetteville State University, NC held their officer installation ceremony on October 10, 2010. Book Signing Inland Empire Section, CA held their Annual Membership Tea which featured a book signing by Linda L. Smith, author of "Love Letters to the Lord" at the Four-D College on June 26, 2010. "Men are Associates" Mixer East Bay Section, CA held their Quarterly Membership Drive Mixer titled "Men are Associate Members" at the Atrium Lounge on June 5, 2010.

Health & Wellness Montgomery County Section, MD held a Health Workshop "Planting the Seeds of Health" at the Casey Community Center on June 19, 2010. Washington Section, DC held a "Home and Community" Workshop in conjunction with AARP, MANA, AAUW at the Howard University Blackburn Center on July 17, 2010. Northern Virginia Section, VA held a 2-part Long Term Care Planning Series "Home, Community, Health & Wellness" Expressing your wishes, Advance directives, and Finances, at the James Lee Community Center on July 20, and August 3, 2010. Washington Section, DC in collaboration with AARP, MANA, and AAUW held a Health Workshop, on, July 31, 2010, at Union Wesley AME Zion Church, Washington, DC. Washington Section, DC in collaboration with AARP hosted a community forum entitled Woman To Woman - Planning Your Secure Future, on November 6th, 2010, at the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church Chapel, Washington, DC. Greater Baltimore Section, MD in collaboration with AARP hosted a community forum entitled Woman To Woman - Planning Your Secure Future, on November 6th, 2010, at the New Covenant Worship Center, Baltimore, MD. Community Tampa Metropolitan Section, FL held a fun and engaging Membership Social on April 10, 2010. Also, they hosted their 64th Annual "Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Luncheon" where they honored her legacy and celebrated the life of Dr. Dorothy I. Height at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel. The Section also hosted a Community Yard Sale, Saturday, August 7, 2010, at Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center. Greater Baltimore Section, MD participated in Baltimore's African American Heritage Festival as exhibitors in the Financial Empowerment Village, June 18 - 20. The section spent three days promoting NCNW and their section's work around financial literacy in the community. Ms. Bean-Waters also gave an outstanding presentation highlighting the life and work of Dr. Height and NCNW. East Bay Section, CA held its Annual Fashion Extravaganza & Luncheon on October 2, 2010, at Francesco's Italian Restaurant, Oakland, CA. Entertainment by Ricardo Scales, and MC Miranda Wilson of the Smooth Jazz Network. Fashions by Men's Warehouse & Ms. Hope Lee of ZZ Accessories.

Mary's Tea Greater Baltimore Section held "Mary's Tea" in honor of Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Height, featuring the Beautiful Hat Society at the Empowerment Temple Family Life Center on June 27, 2010. Denver Section held their 135th Birthday Celebration Tea in honor of our Founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, featuring Denver area authors at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library on July 3, 2010.

If you have considered being active in civic participation in your community, and have not found a way to do so, or an organization to join, we suggest joining one of the many Sections of NCNW!

For more information on how to join a Section of NCNW please visit us on or call us at 202-737-0120.

National Council of Negro Women Signature Events "2011"

Save The Dates!

12th Annual Uncommon Height Awards Gala Apri1 13, 2011

26th Annual Black Family Reunion Celebration September 10, 2011

55th National Convention Nov/Dec 2011

(Actual Dates To Be Determined)

Please monitor our website at for more definitive information on these events. Updates will be published on the website as they become available!

National Sections of NCNW Governance and Updates

Avectra Update! Data Management System

To date, fulfillment of the back ordered Life and Legacy Life Member cards have been

completed. If you still have not received your engraved Life or Legacy Life membership card please contact the Membership Department. Section National Membership Rosters are near completion and they will be disseminated via email to the Section Presidents. Those Sections with an official website are asked to forward the site's URL to the Membership Department and it will be featured on their Section online profile. An E-notice regarding the official online launch date of Avectra will be disseminated to all members of NCNW who have a valid email address on file. At that time we will ask that everyone review their profile and update and/or correct their information as necessary. Also, Section presidents will be asked to review their Section's profile as well. As with this, and all other membership issues and concerns, we ask for your continued tolerance and patience as the Membership Department works diligently to find ways and means to better serve you.

Section Election of Officers 2010-2012 Term

In accordance with the National Bylaws all Community-based and Collegiate Sections

should have held their officers election for the 2010-2012 term. To date, there are still some Sections which have not completed, certified, and forwarded the Election of Section Officers Report Form for 2010-2012, at this time we are asking that you do so immediately! We can't communicate with or disseminate to leadership properly if we do not have this information!

Section's Fair Share Assessment

Do you know why a Section is assessed a fair share? Do you know how your Section's

fair share assessment is determined? Do you know what the fair share supports?


annual dues of a Community-based Section better known as Fair Share, is a corporate assessment assigned to each Section as provided for in the National Bylaws to

help support Headquarters' administrative operational costs. Each Section is assigned a share of the income budget by the Finance Committee of the National Board of Directors, according to the Section's recorded revenue and expenditures. The minimum assessment is $350.00 and the maximum assessment is $750.00. For many years the field believed that this amount was configured based on the number of active members in the Section, this is false. Fair Share is to be paid in full or in quarterly installments. Each year, the National Headquarters Office will send an invoice indicating the current amount due. If there is an amount in arrears for the past year, that amount is also included on the invoice. Quarterly payments of Fair Share are to be made by December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30. Reminder notices and past due invoices will be sent on an as needed basis. All payments are to be sent to the National Headquarters Office, 633 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 2004.

IRS Reporting

This year Sections that have failed to file an annual 990 or 990-N return or notice for

three consecutive years will automatically lose their tax-exempt status, beginning in May 2010. This includes National Headquarters, the Group ruling holder, as well. All Sections


of NCNW and the Headquarters' 990 series are due February 15 , every year. Therefore, we ask for your help to make sure that no Section throws away its tax-exempt status because of failure to comply with the policies and procedures of the IRS and National. In September 2010, the Membership Department will begin compiling a list of those Sections which did not respond to the requests to complete the requirements for the 2009 recertification and attempt to help remedy any noted deficiencies. However, a recommendation will be made to the National Board regarding those Sections which remain nonresponsive, to be dropped from the National Group Subordinate 501(3)(c) Listing.

Official Name for Sections of NCNW

By law, all bona fide Sections of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. names

should read as follows: Central Park Section, NCNW vs. NCNW, Central Park Section! Effective immediately, all Sections are to refrain from having NCNW precede the name of their Section. Headquarters is taking the necessary steps to correct this problem at the National and IRS levels. Remember, your 501(c)(3) privileges are affected by this change. If you try and list your Section preceded by NCNW, it will not appear on the IRS Group Exempt Organization file, thus denying your exemption status for fundraising, etc.

Official Section Correspondence

Inquiries have been coming into Headquarters regarding the NCNW correspondence

footer. The established and approved footer is as follows: Mary McLeod Bethune Founder Barbara L. Shaw Chair

Dorothy I. Height President Emerita

Avis Jones-DeWeever Executive Director

Change of Address for National Business Reply Mail Postage Paid Membership Applications


Office Boxes 14466 and 90960 are officially closed. They both were used primarily for our postage paid membership applications, as well as, our business reply mail. A forwarding order for each P. O. Box is in effect; however, we recommend that you forward all mail to the National Headquarters street address. New postage paid membership applications will be created reflecting the change and disseminated accordingly. In the meantime, we are asking that everyone please download and use the following application until further notice:

Change in Advocate and Leadership Circle Membership Affinity

The book "Open Wide the Freedom Gates," and the DVD "The Surprising Life and

Times of Dorothy I. Height," are no longer available as an affinity for the Advocate and Leadership Circle levels of membership. However, your membership donations are still welcomed at both levels.

Newly Chartered Sections Congratulations! The following are now bona fide Sections of NCNW:

Middle Tennessee Chicago Central, IL Clarendon, SC San Antonio ­ Ruth Jones McClendon, TX Rankin/Mon Valley/Pittsburgh, PA Johnson C. Smith Collegiate, NC Texas College at Tyler, TX San Diego Youth, CA North Shore ­ Staten Island Youth, NY Durham Youth, NC

National Membership Affinity Partners

· Nationwide Insurance, Discounted Program - Insurance for your car, home, boat,

RV, motorcycle and more!

· Aflac ­ Discounted Health Insurance!

Join Now!

You may Join the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) or renew your membership immediately, at any one of the membership levels below, by credit/debit card via (Join Us); providing the card information to [email protected]; mailing check or money order to 633 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Attention: Membership, Washington, DC 20004; or calling (202) 383-9122, 9134, or 9155.

Youth $2.00 (12 thru 18 years-of-age, Middle ­ High School) Student $10.00 (Collegiate) Nationwide Insurance Discounted Program - Insurance for your car, home, boat, RV, motorcycle and more! Aflac Health Insurance Program

How do I join/renew?

Annual Membership $30.00 / Associate Member (Men)* $30.00

Nationwide Insurance Discounted Program - Insurance for your car, home, boat, RV, motorcycle and more Aflac Health Insurance Program

Partner $50.00

All the benefits of Annual/Associate; plus: Annual recognition in the News Brief. Recognition in the Uncommon Height Awards Program Book.

Life Membership (Individual Life - $500, Group Life - $750, Legacy Life - $1,000)

Individual and Group Life Members engraved silver card Individual and Group Legacy Life engraved gold card

Section and Guild Necrology

Dr. Dolores S. Nehemiah, CA Helen S. Wilson, Tampa, FL Oretha Wright, Tampa, FL Annie Alexander, Winston-Salem, NC Joan Cardwell, Winston-Salem, NC Linda Blake, Winston-Salem, NC Mary Gossett, Clark County/Springfield, OH Carol Henderson-Burken, Cuyahoga County, OH Celestine Whitefield, Cuyahoga County, OH Norma J. Ross, Dayton, OH Dr. Patricia B. Scales, VA

Dr. Dorothy Irene Height National Council of Negro Women,Inc. President Emerita/Chair 1957 ­ 2010 Memorial Tribute

Dorothy Irene Height was born in Richmond, Virginia on March 24, to the late Fannie

Burroughs Height, a nurse, and James Height, a building contractor. When she was four years old, the family moved to Rankin, Pennsylvania--part of the Great migration of southern Negroes to the north. At age 13, Dorothy saw and met for the first time a Negro woman, Maude Coleman, who was an elected official. Dorothy's mother, Fannie, often dragged her off to women's church meetings. It was in this environment that Dorothy gradually learned of the many issues confronting her people. When two representatives of Pittsburgh Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) came to the Rankin Christian Center (where Dorothy was an active member) to organize

a Girls' Reserve Club, Dorothy was the first to join. After being selected by the Rankin club to be photographed with two white girls, Dorothy and several other girls decided to go to the Chatham Street YWCA in downtown Pittsburgh, to learn how to swim. When they were told that Negro girls could not swim in the YWCA pool, Dorothy asked to speak to the Executive Director. Although she was unsuccessful in getting the woman to change the "policy," Dorothy never forgot this incident. She later became the first Director of the YWCA's Center for Racial Justice. Today, the Dorothy I. Height Racial Justice Award is the YWCA's highest award and through its stated mission, the organization is dedicated to "eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all." Dorothy excelled in grade school but had a particular affinity to music (piano and voice) and the English language. At 12, she tried her hand at entrepreneurship by teaching piano for 25 cents a lesson, managing to stay only two classes ahead of her students. In high school, she established herself early as a dedicated student with exceptional oratorical skills. After a record of scholastic excellence and winning a $1,000 scholarship in a national oratorical contest on the United States Constitution, sponsored by the Elks, Dorothy was accepted to Barnard College, the college of her choice. After an entrance interview, officials at Barnard College informed her that the college had already accepted its quota of two Negroes. Dorothy later decided to attend New York University where she earned her bachelor and master's degrees in four years. She did postgraduate work at Columbia University and the New York School of Social Work. Recently, Barnard College awarded Dorothy Height an honorary degree. In 1933, during the New Deal era, the 23 year-old Dorothy became a leader of the United Christian Youth Movement of North America. Her career as a civil rights advocate began to unfold as she worked to prevent lynching, desegregate the armed forces, reform the criminal justice system and fight for free access to public accommodations. Dorothy was assigned to deal with the Harlem riots in 1935. In I937, Dorothy began working at the YWCA in Harlem, New York, where she worked over 40 years in various positions including Director of Public Affairs, Director of Leadership Training, Director of the National YWCA School for Professional Workers, Director of the Center for Racial Justice and as a member of the National Board. In one of the leadership positions, Dorothy traveled to the University of Delhi in India where she was a visiting professor at the Delhi School of Social Work, founded by the YWCAs of India, Burma and Ceylon. In an initiative to expand the work of the YWCA, Dorothy conducted a study of women's organizations in five African countries: Liberia, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Dorothy was always proud of her work at the YWCA especially of her successful effort to have the organization adopt "the elimination of racism" as one of its goals. It was while she was working at the YWCA that Dorothy met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her mentor Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune. Mrs. Bethune soon invited Dorothy to join the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in its quest for women's rights to full and equal employment, pay and education. Dr. Height gives Mrs. Bethune much of the credit for her development as a young woman.

In 1938, Dorothy Irene Height was one of 10 American youth invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to spend a weekend at her Hyde Park, New York home to plan and prepare for the World Youth Conference to be held at Vassar College. In 1947- Dorothy Irene Height was elected National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served in that position until 1956. She carried the sorority to a new level of organizational development, initiation eligibility, and social action. Her leadership training skills, social work background, and knowledge of volunteerism benefited the sorority as it moved into a new era of activism on the national and international scene. She remained active in her beloved Delta Sigma Theta throughout the rest of her life and had the singular pleasure of pinning her mentee and special friend, Alexis Herman in 1978. In l957, Dorothy Irene Height was elected fourth National President of NCNW. She held that position until 1998 when she became Chair and President Emerita. She served in those positions until her death. In 1961, while also participating in a major civil rights initiative, Dorothy Irene Height led the NCNW to address the unmet essential needs among women and their families by working to combat hunger, developing cooperative pig banks, and providing families with community freezers and showers. In 1960, Dorothy Irene Height was the only woman member of the United States Civil Rights "Big Six" Leadership Team which included Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney H. Young, A. Philip Randolph, James Farmer, Roy Wilkins and John Lewis. At the 1963 March on Washington, she was on the platform when Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Dorothy relinquished her spot on the program so that the young preacher would have more than five minutes to speak. She also convinced the leadership to allow Dr. King to be the final speaker because she foresaw that he would be the new voice of the movement. In 1964, after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Dorothy Irene Height, along with Polly Cowan, an NCNW Board Member, organized teams of women of different races and faiths in a "Wednesdays in Mississippi" initiative. Through this initiative, a coalition of women assisted in the freedom schools, conducted voter registration drives in the South, and established communications between black and white women. The coalition stressed the need for decent housing which later became the basis for NCNWs partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop Turnkey III Home Ownership for low income families in Gulfport Mississippi. In I970, Dorothy Irene Height established the Women's Center for Education and Career Advancement in New York City to prepare women for entry level jobs. As a result of this experience, she collaborated with Pace College in 1975 to establish a first-time Associate Degree for Professional Studies which later became a regular professional studies degree course at Pace University.

Dr. Height participated in the Tribunal at the International Women's Year Conference of the United Nations in Mexico City. As a result of her participation, NCNW was awarded a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to hold a conference within the conference for women from the United States, African countries, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The conference was followed by a trip with 50 of the women to visit with women in rural Mississippi. In 1977, after addressing the National Convention of the Black Women's Federation of South Africa near Johannesburg, Dr. Height lectured in South Africa under the auspices of the USAID. In response to the 1965 Moynihan Report, entitled "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action," which described the Black family as "a tangle of pathology;" Dr. Height developed the National Black Family Reunion to reinforce the historic strengths and traditional values of Black families. The National Black Family Reunion has attracted over ten million people during the twenty-five years of its existence. In 1966, under her leadership, NCNW achieved tax-exempt status. In 1974, NCNW dedicated the statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C., depicting the first African-American and the first woman of any race on public land in the nation's Capital. Dr. Height developed model national and community-based programs ranging from teenage parenting to "pig banks" which addressed hunger in rural areas. She established the Bethune Museum and Archives for Black Women, the first institution devoted to Black women's history and the Bethune Council House was established as a national historic site. Dorothy I. Height has received numerous awards and citations including the John F. Kennedy Memorial Award, Hadassah Myrtle Wreath of Achievement, the Congressional Black Caucus "Decades of Service" Award, the Citizen's Medal from President Ronald Reagan, the Freedom Medal from President Franklin Roosevelt, the Essence Award, the Camille Cosby "World of Children" Award, the NAACP's Spingarn Medal, named to the National Women's Hall of Fame, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton, Medal of Distinction from Barnard College, and on her 92nd birthday, President George W. Bush presented her with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest civilian and most distinguished award. She has received 36 Honorary Doctorate Degrees from universities and colleges such as Tuskegee University, Spelman College, Pace University, Bennett College, Lincoln University, Harvard University, Howard University, Princeton University, New York University, Morehouse College, Meharry Medical College, and Columbia University. In 2006, Dr. Height published her biography, Open Wide the Freedom Gates, recounting her efforts on every major issue to advance civil and human rights dating back to the 1930s- She has provided sage counsel to every American president from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama. During her 98 years of life, she soared to "Uncommon Height."

In 2010, The Dorothy I. Height Foundation published Dr. Height's book, Living With Purpose. Dr. Height left the following advice to meet today's challenges: "To move forward, we have to look at the world as it is becoming, rather than how it has been. We have to see how we have to stretch ourselves to become related to this ever-changing scenery. We have to gain recognition not only that no one stands alone, but on a positive side, that we also need each other.... In the long run, it is how we relate to each other and how well we work together that will make the deciding difference."



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