“The mission of NCBW is to develop leaders who will help to rebuild their communities and redirect the energies of younger Black people who live in those communities.”
In the winter of 1970 in New York City, 24 Black women, led by visionary Edna Beach, began meeting in their homes to assess the problems and opportunities left behind in the wake of the turbulent 1960s. As a result of their meetings, they formed the Coalition of 100 Black Women. For the rest of the 1970s, they slowly but persistently worked to master root causes of issues that affected their families, their communities and themselves. They boldly began to reach out to other Black women in common cause, and eventually, mobilized their emerging stature as a visible force of influence promoting gender and racial equity.
In 1981, the New York Coalition had over 500 members throughout New York City’s metropolitan area, far in excess of the symbolic “100” in its title. Its effective role-model projects and its association with grass-roots community activity won notice in both local and national news media. As the Coalition gained recognition, Black women from other parts of the country aspired to duplicate its mission and programs in their own geographic areas.
In 1981, it decided to create a national organization, to expand beyond the boundaries of New York City, and, accordingly, to include the term “National” in the original title. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) was launched on October 24, 1981, with representatives from 14 states and the District of Columbia, with Jewell Jackson McCabe as its first national president. The rapidity by which the organization grew is attested to by the statistics of 1986: 47 chapters in 19 states, with a membership of 3,000.
Today, NCBW consists of thousands of progressive women of African descent who represent 60 chapters in 25 states and the District of Columbia and whose commitment to gender equity and socioeconomic advancement drives meaningful change to benefit women of color.
The Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter, chartered on September 24, 1989, is a non-profit organization dedicated to community service through advocacy for health awareness, leadership development, economic development and education. The organization creates networks and partnerships that seek to empower African American women to address socio-economic and political issues, as well as career advancement and leadership opportunities.
The average chapter member is a college graduate, works as a professional in the public and /or private sector, and is actively involved in the educational, political, and economic life of the community.
The Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter accomplishes its work by identifying issues that impact the community, especially, African American women and mounts strategic efforts to take action and effect change.
(Left to Right: Dr. Anne O. Emery, Mary Demory, Dr. Thelma T. Daley, Michele McNeill-Emery)