National Club History

In 1895, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin issued a call for a national meeting of Colored Women to take place in Boston, Massachusetts. Following that initial meeting, the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc. was organized in 1896 in Washington D.C. at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. NACWC grew out of the merger of two nationally representative organizations. The Colored Women's League of Washington D.C. (formed in 1893) and the National Federation of Afro-American Women. Mrs. Mary Church Terrell was elected the first president.

Mrs. Terrell was the first national president, and was surrounded by a company of co-founders and workers and included: Margaret Murray (Mrs.Booker T. Washington), Hallie Q. Brown, Harriett Tubman, Elizabeth Lindsey Davis, and Ida Well Barnett.  Later other influential women like Mary McCleod Bethune joined the organization.

The birth of NACWC in 1896 marked the beginning of a new era for all women and families that would provide a vehicle for action through organized effort which gave way to what would later become the hallmark of the club "Continuous Service to Humanity."  



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