“Embracing Change: Honoring Our Great Legacy Through Restructure and Adaptation”
For more than 119 years, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc., has been a leader in igniting and securing the rights of women, children and families. Founded in 1896, we are the oldest women of color organization in the country’s history. The activities and contributions of NACWC, have helped to improve the quality of life for all people, even those in other countries.
Since our inception, we have made significant contributions to uplift and sustain communities in 36 states. Built on the backbone of women like Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Washington, Mary Talbert and Nannie Burroughs, we became and continue to be an important force in our communities. We have supported women suffrage, prohibition and civil rights agendas. The first women’s network in Civil Defense emerged because our organization pushed for the issue in women’s role during the Korean War. We are still powerful women who are current on all issues and remain at the forefront of our struggles. Read More...
Black History Month
The months of January and February are beautiful. Yes, I know they have cold, wintery, blustery days. Yes I know heating costs go up. Yes, I know many of you have to tunnel through snow mounds and scrape ice off the windshields. But I still love those days. I love the fact that people of color everywhere have an opportunity to remember barriers were broken down for our sake.
During the month of January, we pause on the third Monday and commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As I looked around my neighborhood, I rejoiced in the fact I can now dwell in a community with contemporaries of all color and races. Many of you will recall when there were ordinances stating what neighborhoods you could live in or could not move into. The play/movie “Raisin in the Sun,” was fiction, but the story line was true. I know you joined me in prayer to thank God for allowing a man like Dr. King dedicate his life to ensure all Americans, no matter the color of their skin, have access to all ‘unalienable rights.’ We should never forget how he fought against hatred, bigotry and intolerance, while demonstrating the art of peace. Let us commit by continuing to build bridges where there are great divides in our country on the diversity of color and culture.
February -- 2012 is a leap year. We have 29 days instead of 28. I say “Yeah!” We have an extra day to acknowledge African/Americans rich history and accomplishments. We too, have played a vital role in our country’s cultural, political and social fabric. From the day we landed on Plymouth Rock, the nation has benefitted from our contributions. Our freedom has come through great sacrifices. Many of them are still unrecorded. If I recorded names in this newsletter and added 20 more pages, I still would not have room to list them.
Our president – Barak Obama eloquently stated in his State of the Union Address, that it is going to take all of us working together, to reach that better place beyond the horizon. It is my hope we will continue to work together, to build upon the progress achieved thus far. And let us recommit to helping those less fortunate than ourselves. Let us love all people, even those who seek to do us harm. And lastly, let us continue to “lift as we climb.”
Yours truly for breaking down barriers.
Featured Member: BERNICE MAYES
Getting to know: Bernice Mayes of New Jersey, who currently serves as National Membership Chair her favorites and other fun facts to know about her.
Family: I have one sister, Ruth Mayes, a Life Member of NACWC; one brother, Rev. Garland Mayes a pastor in Clinton, NC 2 nieces and 3 nephews.
Best book ever read: Roots by Alex Haley and A Colored Woman in A Colored World by Dr. Mary Church Terrell, 1st. President of NACWC.
Favorite movie: Gone With the Wind
Favorite song: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Hobby: Reading, Traveling and Sports
Favorite food/dessert: Pound Cake
Unknown fun fact about you: I love working in politics, learning how bills become laws and why we should vote in all elections, including school board, municipal, county, state and federal. I traveled to South Africa in 1997 with PEOPLE TO PEOPLE at the invitation of President Nelson to work with organizations in South Africa to develop a snack for children as soon as they arrive at school.
What is your recipe for success? Dream and dream Big. Set Goals for life work, and organizations. Always stay positive and stay away from negative people. Always develop a plan and not worry about money. I cannot get money without a plan. PRAY FIRST AND BRING GOD IN MY LIFE IN ALL THAT I DO. I THANK GOD EVERY DAY FOR WHAT HE DOES FOR ME. No one ever succeeds without making mistakes. Try not to continue making the same mistake. Being willing to share my gifts with others, then I will continue receiving Blessings. Learn from my mistakes. My goal is to train youth to take my place in this society, so I can move on to another Dream. Listen and evaluate what I hear, before I make decisions.
What is your favorite quote? YOU MUST ACT AS IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL.
If you could spend one hour with anyone in history, who would it be and why? Nelson Mandela. He stayed positive and planned for his country and people while in prison. I saw the prison he was in and his home.
How long have you been a member of NACWC and what local, state, regional and national committee do you serve on? NACWC Life Membership Chairman since 1976. Member since 1965. Local club -- Garnetts Welfare Club; served as president of N.J. and Past President Advisory Board and Special Projects; as well as Regional Organizer
What’s hot about NACWC? I believe our President Evelyn Rising is the greatest thing at this time. She is able to keep us positive even without fund to do all that we need to do She is a spiritual lady, which cares about the members and our organization. She uses every opportunity to promote our organization and doing so in this poor economy. She tries to keep us informed thru email and has provided us with Newsletters from all the regional conventions. We are blessed with her technology skills.