National Council of Negro Women  

mary mcleod bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune


In 1935, Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) called together 28 national women leaders to form “an organization of organizations” council, which became the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW).  Bethune, who was then serving as Advisor of Minority Affairs to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, did not like to see the “unharnessed womanpower among our women.”  She believed that what was needed was not another organization, but one that would bring organizations together, much like the United Nations.  Thus, NCNW became a council of autonomous national organizations working together to improve the quality of life for women.  The NCNW represents the national and international concerns of Black women and gives Black women the opportunity to realize their goals for social justice and human rights through united, constructive action.  Today NCNW also addresses local needs through organized strategies that involve a network of thousands of women whose collective efforts impact communities nationwide.       





Copyright © 2007 National Women's History Museum.