National Council of Negro Women

National Council of Negro Women
The Dorothy I. Height Building, headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, located at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
National Council of Negro Women
Founder(s) Mary McLeod Bethune
Founded 1935
Location Washington, DC

The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is a non-profit organization with the mission to advance the opportunities and the quality of life for African American women, their families and communities. NCNW fulfills this mission through research, advocacy, national and community based services and programs in the United States and Africa. With its 38 national affiliate organizations and its more than 200 community based sections, NCNW has an outreach to nearly four million women, all contributing to the peaceful solutions to the problems of human welfare and rights. The national headquarters, which acts as a central source for program planning, is based in Washington, DC, on Pennsylvania Avenue, located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. NCNW also has two field offices.



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The NCNW was founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune, child of slave parents, distinguished educator, and government consultant. Mary McLeod Bethune saw the need for harnessing the power and extending the leadership of African American women through a national organization.

National and international programs

Some of NCNW's recent programs include:

  • The high-profile annual Black Family Reunion Program Celebration
  • Public education and advocacy for African Americans regarding Supreme Court and lower court nominees
  • Early childhood literacy programs designed to close the achievement gap
  • A new initiative and publication entitled African American Women As We Age, which educates women on health and finances
  • A national obesity abatement initiative
  • A partnership with NASA to develop Community Learning Centers targeting traditionally underserved students
  • Technical assistance to eight Youth Opportunity Centers in Washington, DC

Some of NCNW's recent international activities include:

  • Maintaining consultative status at the United Nations to represent the voice of African American women
  • Partnering with national women's organizations in Benin to deliver technology, literacy, microcredit and economic empowerment programs
  • Linking youth in Uganda, north Africa and the U.S. in a three-nation educational exchange.

Developing a small business incubator in Senegal

  • Partnering in the implementation of a large microcredit program in Eritrea extending small business loans and training to more than 500 women. [1]

Serving as an umbrella organization for 39 national and local advocacy groups for women of African descent both in the U.S. and abroad, the National Council of Negro Women coordinates its activities with partners in 34 states. The Council also runs four research and policy centers in its efforts to develop best practices in addressing the health, educational, and economic needs of African-American women. Unfortunately, all of these centers take a lot of resources to run, and with administrative costs upwards of $4 million in 2007, there is comparatively little left over in the group’s approximately $6 million budget for programs.

National Black Family Reunion

NCNW organizes the National Black Family Reunion, a two-day cultural event celebrating the enduring strengths and traditional values of the African American fathers.

Uncommon Height awards

a/o 8/5/2011[2]
Ann M. Fudge
Cathy Hughes


  1. ^ "National Council of Negro Women". Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  2. ^ "Honorees", NCNW webpage. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  3. ^ "Events", NCNW webpage. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  4. ^ "Calendar", NCNW webpage. Retrieved 2011-08-05.

Further reading

  • Julie A. Gallagher. "The National Council of Negro Women, Human Rights, and the Cold War," in Laughlin, Kathleen A., and Jacqueline L. Castledine, eds., Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985 (Routledge, 2011) pp. 80-98

See also

Africana womanism

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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