12 Black Women's Organizations Doing Work You Should Know About2/03/2015
by Nneka M. Okona Black women have been committed to the well-being, prosperity, and advancement of communities all throughout history. F...
by Nneka M. Okona
Black women have been committed to the well-being, prosperity, and advancement of communities all throughout history. For many of us, this has been currently realized by the Black women who are at the forefront of the #BlackLivesMatter movement which continues to unfold across the country. But still, there are millions of other Black women organizing to create, ensure, and protect opportunities for their sisters. From public policy, education, social justice, economic development, and health and wellness, many organizations founded by and for Black women—whether national or local in scope—have erected spaces to carry out that work. Here are just a few of these organizations that you should know about. Visit their websites to find out more about their work, as well as research how you can become involved or donate to keep to their efforts for their continued success and sustainability.
1. National Coalition of 100 Black Women (http://www.100blackwomen.org/)Launched in 1981, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, was formed to be an advocate for Black women in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment. Programs have been implemented to establish a network between other Black women, address the career needs of Black women, and use mentoring to shape young Black women. More than 60 chapters in 28 states of the non-profit organization exist today.
2. National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (http://www.nacwc.org/)The oldest women’s organization in U.S. history, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs is known for their historical legacy of supporting the causes of suffrage, prohibition, and civil rights. Today, with 245 charter clubs in five regions, the organization continues their work with programs geared towards advancing the moral, economic, social and religious welfare of all Black women and their families.
3. National Congress of Black Women, Inc. (http://nationalcongressbw.org/)Another well-known non-profit institution for Black women, the National Congress of Black Women’s mission is to contribute to the educational, political, and cultural development of Black women and youth. The organization accomplishes this by training women for leadership positions in government, non-profit, and private sectors.
4. National Council of Negro Women (http://ncnw.org/)Founded by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935, the National Council of Negro Women continues the work of appealing to the concerns of Black women that she began years ago. Notable programs include a small business incubator program in Senegal, a national obesity abatement initiative, and a partnership with women’s organizations in Benin. Today, the non-profit organization has a reach of nearly 4 million Black women—with more than 39 affiliated Black women’s organization affiliations.
5. Black Women’s Health Imperative (http://www.bwhi.org/)Touted as the only national non-profit geared specifically towards improving the health and wellness of Black women and girls, the Black Women’s Health Imperative is making a difference, day by day. With priorities on addressing health care access; public health and prevention efforts around HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and obesity; and a focus on reproductive health and justice—their overarching goal is to increase the number of healthy Black women in the U.S. to 9.5 million 12.5 million by 2020.
6. Black Career Women’s Network (https://bcwnetwork.com/)You’re only as great as your network and non-profit organization Black Career Women’s Network is doing the work to ensure women get ahead in their careers. The organization links women with career coaches and mentors, and also sets up opportunities for Black women to mutually network and foster career development.
7. Black Women’s Playwright Group (http://www.blackwomenplaywrights.org)Based and founded in Washington, DC, the Black Women’s Playwright Group is dedicated to supporting and promoting the work Black women playwrights. For members, they provide monthly writing workshops, as well as year-round networking opportunities with directors, producers, designers, and actors. Additionally, the organization values advocating for critical issues within the theater world.
8. SisterLove, Inc. (http://sisterlove.org/)Founded and headquartered in Atlanta, SisterLove, Inc. is doing powerful work with Black women in Atlanta around HIV/AIDS education and prevention, self-help, and safer sex techniques. The organization has been around since 1989 and is the largest one of its kind in Georgia specifically catering to the needs of Black women.
9. National Black Women’s Justice Institute (http://www.blackwomensjustice.org/)Committed to reduction of racial and gender disparities in justice systems affecting Black women, girls, and their families, the National Black Women’s Justice Institute is charged with that work. The organization conducts research, promotes civic engagement and advocates for informed and more effective policies.
10. Black Women’s Blueprint (http://www.blackwomensblueprint.org)Another social justice organization for Black women, Black Women’s Blueprint provides the resources for Black women to participate in intersectional advocacy on both a grassroots level and within society as a whole. They focus on a number of issues relating to Black women and girls—including criminal justice, police violence, economic justice, and education (specifically around Black women’s stories and legacies). In 2014, they launched an initiative to document Black women’s stories of surviving sexual violence, in an effort to increase policy-focused prevention efforts.
11. Black Women’s Roundtable (http://ncbcp.org/programs/bwr/policy)Resting on the tenets of health and wellness, economic security, education, and global empowerment, Black Women’s Roundtable pursues public policies for the greater benefit of Black women and their families. Most recently, key leaders from this organization led a discussion with the NFL about the lack of inclusion of any women of color within its recently formed domestic violence advisory panel.
12. Black Women for Wellness (http://www.bwwla.org)Black Women for Wellness is a Los Angeles based grassroots organization whose mission is centered on “empowerment, health, and well-being of Black women and girls.” They have utilized a reproductive justice framework in an effort to expand access to reproductive and sexual health services to Black women and girls throughout California by focusing on advocacy, research, policy, and education.
Do you know of any Black women’s non-profit organizations that we didn’t list? Please tell us about their work and link to their website in the comments!
Nneka M. Okona is a writer based in Washington, DC. Visit her blog, www.afrosypaella.com, her website, about.me/nnekaokona or follow her tweets, @NisforNneka.