The Dallas Examiner
Men are often shown as the face of most Black movements in history, but women have always played a huge role in creating change in the African American community.
Throughout history, there have been active Black women associations, such as Mary McLeod Bethune’s National Council of Negro Women and Ida B. Wells’ National Association of Colored Women’s Club. These groups have been discontinued except for relatively few, such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Rooted in its central values: racial equity, gender equity and sisterhood, the group was created in 1970 by Edna Breach as a response to the problems presented to African American families in the 1960s.
From the 500 members in the 80s to the 20 million members now, NCBW has established itself in multiple states throughout the country. However, the organization hasn’t created a strong presence in the Metroplex – until now.
The NCBW-Dallas chapter is being mobilized in the area and is currently looking for Black women all over the metroplex to help build a sisterhood and improve the local communities.
“The mission of the NCBW Inc. is to advocate on the behalf of Black women and girls on racial equity, gender equity, and leadership and development in the areas of economic empowerment, health, and education,” said Mia Johnson, president of NCBW-Dallas.
Johnson – a Houston native – was eager to find a group rooted in sisterhood and empowering Black women. During her search to find local Black women organizations, she said she stumbled upon the group’s history and was easily drawn to their participation in communities around the country.
“When I contacted them, it was like a ‘Tag! You’re It!’ kind of thing,” she said. “I’m thinking they were going give me some information about a local chapter and their president, and [instead] they told me that there was no longer a chapter in Dallas and they were looking to re-establish here.”
A new challenge was presented to Johnson, and she wasted no time taking the job head on.
“I just kind of walked into this,” she explained. “Once I found this out, I picked it up and ran with it, and I never stopped. I’m extremely passionate about being a voice to those whom may not necessarily have a voice.”
The club had their first official meeting in October and accrued between 20 and 30 new members. The local chapter has not officially chartered yet, but it’s hoping to have 35 or more members total by Jan. 14 so they can officially become a chapter.
Johnson said she is fighting to get more women to join and become enthusiastic about what the group is doing.
“The biggest obstacle I find is drawing up interest,” she expressed. “The hardest thing I face is maintaining momentum and making sure that when we engage, we remain engaged and remain on the map.”
Local women should join the organization so that Black women and girls can have strong leaders to look up to and have positive representation in the media while limiting media exploitation of the Black community, Johnson says. She stated the media often use certain people for their news stories to create a mockery of the Black community, and this must stop.
“I want us to be able to represent each other better,” the coalition president said. “We have to go out there and represent our community and not have someone who is going to misrepresent our community anymore. We’re going to need the backing of the rest of the women in this particular area to drive and push us.”
The chapter is gearing up and ready to become a powerhouse in the area. The group has just finished its inaugural winter coat drive with New Friends, New Life, an organization for sex trafficked and exploited women and children.
For 2017, Johnson said the chapter has a few events set up for potential members and supporters to attend, such as their financial literacy seminar in January and their health fair in October.
“We are ready to work,” she affirmed. “I couldn’t be happier to serve with a group of women such as the ones we are going to be presenting. We want to be able to mentor our girls and partner with other organizations that serve our communities, but we’re going to need to lock arms and push that together.”
For more information regarding membership, email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.