top of page

National History

image (1).png

In 1935, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune called together 28 national women leaders to form "an organization of organizations." She highlighted that what was needed was not another organization, but one that would bring ALL organizations together. From this, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) was born. It was a visionary call for working together with a "Unity of Purpose and a Unity of Action."


NCNW’s mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. This is accomplished by addressing issues of human welfare and rights through public education, community service, and advocacy. More information can be found at

"I am my mother's daughter, and ​the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there's a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth."

- Mary McLeod Bethune

(July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955) was an educator, civil rights activist, philanthropist, humanitarian, and founder of the NCNW. She is well-known for starting a private school for African American students in Daytona Beach, FL now known as

Mary McLeod Bethune

image (11).png

Bethune-Cookman University. Bethune's honors include designation of her home in Daytona Beach, FL as a National Historic Landmark, her house in D.C. as a National Historic Site, and the installation of a memorial sculpture of her in Lincoln Park in D.C, the first monument to honor an African American and a woman in a public park in D.C.

Dorothy Irene Height

image (3).png

(March 24, 1912–April 20, 2010) was a teacher, social service worker, African-American civil rights and women's rights activist, and the four-decade-long president of the NCNW. She was called the "godmother of the women's movement" for her

work for women's rights and was one of few women present on the speaking platform during the 1963 March on Washington. She focused on the issues of African American women, including unemployment, illiteracy, and voter awareness.

bottom of page