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*On this date in 1977, we celebrate the founding of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education (ABWHE).
ABWHE has been an advocate for and celebrant of the accomplishments of Black women in higher education. In 1976, Dr. Jacqueline A. Kane became Director of the Resource Center on Women in Higher Education with the New York State Education Department. In this capacity, she became concerned about what could be done to assist affirmative action officers. She was directed to assist in the recruitment and promotion of Black women.
In April 1977, Dr. Kane convened a committee of Black women from across NY State to plan a conference for June 5-7, 1977. This committee included women involved in Opportunity Programs, foundations, community-based organizations, as well as faculty, staff and administrators. It was decided the conference theme should be the “elimination of Institutional Policies and Practices that Adversely Affect Black Women’: That conference was attended by approximately 7 5 participants who recommended that the Center organize a second conference to be held January 23-25, 1978, in Albany with the theme “Black Women in Higher Education.”
The participants of this second conference decided that it was time to start an organization. They uniquely support and empower sister scholars, staff, and students to secure our presence and prosperity for generations to come. Black women in the higher education community need a variety of resources and networks to foster their professional development and advocated for their presence and prosperity in the academy. To help meet that need, in 1978, thirteen visionary women met in Albany, New York and founded the Association of Black Women in Higher Education, Inc. (ABWHE).
Today, ABWHE has six chapters nationwide serving as a forum for developing strategies to improve the quality of education of Black people, with particular emphasis on encouraging Black youth to take full advantage of available educational opportunities. ABWHE is committed to aiding Black women in the academy in fulfilling their own aspirations as well as encouraging Black youth to pursue their education