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On this date in 1935, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) was founded.
Founded by Mary McLeod Bethune, it started as a way to unite women and secure justice. NCNW has grown into a multi-faceted, non-profit organization that works at the national, state, local, and international levels. It pursues goals to "leave no one behind" and improve the quality of life for women, children, and families. NCNW comprises 38 affiliated national organizations, 250 community-based sections chartered in 42 states, 20 college-based sections, and 60,000 individual members.
As the umbrella organization for this widely diverse group of organizations and individuals, ranging from college-based sororities and professional associations to civic and social clubs, NCNW has an outreach to over 4 million women. With a national headquarters in Washington, D.C., since 1942, NCNW now maintains offices in Atlanta, Brooklyn, New York, and New Orleans and three international field offices in Dakar (Senegal), Harare (Zimbabwe), and Cairo (Egypt).
NCNW has also sponsored the merging of two community-based agencies, NCNW of Greater New Orleans and NCNW of Greater New York, in Jamaica, New York. A board of directors runs NCNW made up of the heads of each of its affiliates, elected by the membership at the biennial National Convention.
NCBW’s board of directors chair is also elected at the National Convention. After Dr. Dorothy I. Height died, Johnnetta Betsch Cole was elected Chair of NCNW in 2018. She is ushering in a new era of social activism. and continued progress and growth for the organization.