The Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of the National Coalition of Black Women, Incorporated (NCBW100) recently hosted its Inaugural Holiday Gala in Mokena, Illinois. Chicago Metropolitan Chapter President, Drema Lee Woldman, and the chapter’s 144 members welcomed to the gala, Elizabeth Jones, National President-Elect, and Virginia Harris, Immediate Past National President.
The Work of the NCBW100, Inc.
The National Coalition of Black Women 100, Inc. was launched in 1980. According its website, “The organization’s vision is that Black women and girls will live in a world where socio-economic inequity does not exist.” In addition, “As a voice for millions of Black women and girls in the United States, the coalition believes in inclusion, respect, racial and social justice, integrity, accountability, and collaboration. The Coalition develops alliances with leadership from corporate, civic, political, and government agencies, serving as the eyes, ears, and voice for all Black women. The organization has positioned itself as a complement to the strong heritage of other Black women’s organizations with similar goals.”
In addition to the Coalition’s vision and mission, it also focuses on a 4-pronged advocacy model engaged in education, economic empowerment, public policy, and health. The NCBW100’s website shared that there are 60 chapters representing 28 states. “NCBW consists of thousands of progressive women of African descent whose commitment to gender equity and socioeconomic advancement drives meaningful change to benefit women of color.” Finally, the website provided that “Nationally, NCBW’s board members link the organization to other organizations with similar agendas, to corporate structures and influential individuals in fields that span the gamut of human endeavor. By having such access, NCBW can readily gauge the sentiment of any sector of society and has the ability to help determine the mood or thoughts of Black women across the United States for effective advocacy programmatic purposes.”
A Message from the President-Elect
During the Chicago chapter’s gala, NCBW100’s National President-Elect, Elizabeth Jones, shared that “Black women are the lynchpin of leadership continuity among all Black people; we understand the need for mentoring that must be nurtured and honed day-by-day, from one generation to another.” Quoting former president, Barack Obama, Jones offered, “We can no longer look to others to solve our problems; change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for – we are the change we see.” She added, “Our rights and freedoms as Black women and girls are under attack in this country today. Now, more than ever, we must remain persistent, prudent, and steadfast in advocating for our rights and freedom on behalf of Black women and girls. NCBW’s grass roots advocacy work which engages policy makers at local, state, and national levels in an effort to shape and influence legislation that leads to change that supports and benefits Black women and girls. We must be laser-focused on the communities we serve and uplift.”
NCBW100 Chicago Metropolitan Chapter
Although prior to last year, the NCBW100 had chapters in cities across the United States, Chicago Metropolitan chapter president, Drema Lee Woldman, shared that Virginia Harris, NCBW’s immediate past national president, expressed a desire to charter a Chicago chapter. One hundred and forty-four women career professionals agreed with the mission of the organization and committed to carrying out both the mission and vision of the national organization. In September 2020, the Chicago chapter was officially chartered and it is now the largest chapter in the national organization.
Since its charter, Woldman shared, “Our chapter has been busily engaged in advocacy work in collaboration with the City of Chicago and local businesses and organizations, such as the Michael Reese Consortium, Walgreens, Country Financial, and Fifth Third Bank.” She added that the chapter has hosted several virtual town halls and engaged in conversations surrounding health, which focused on obesity, the Covid pandemic, healthy lifestyles, and health disparities in the Black community; Education, which included a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) conference in partnership with Fifth Third Bank (another conference is in planning stages for 2022); financial workshops with girls on how to prepare for college, applying for scholarships and grants, and a mentoring program for girls in grades 8-10 which will kick off in January, 2022. The chapter also hosted virtual conversations discussing holiday spending and budgeting, women employed workshops, and a virtual meeting with attorneys and judges who gave insight on criminal law, sentencing, and the recent case involving the egregious behavior of the Chicago Police Department in 2019 during an illegal raid of the home of Anjanette Young.
For information on the National Coalition of Black Women 100, Incorporated, visit www.ncbw.org.
Donna Hammond is a contributing writer and seminarian. Follow her on social media, Twitter: @DeeLois623 and Facebook: DeeLoisSpeaks.