By Trikosko, Marion S., photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Founded by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) was created to connect the skills and influence of African American women in organizations that make African-American women's voices heard in both social and political spheres. First NCNW president, Mary McLeod Bethune, had the idea for an umbrella organization that would unify and increase cooperation between national organizations in 1929 and worked tirelessly for five years to ensure NCNW became a reality. The founding meeting, in which Bethune was unanimously voted president, had representatives of twenty-nine organizations.
The NCNW was a force behind the founding of the Fair Employment Practices Committee, supported the founding of the United Nations, and created influential journal Aframerican Woman's Journal, which in 1949 became Women United. Subsequent NCNW presidents focused on issues such as civil rights, education, jobs, and health care. The NCNW established the National Archives for Black Women's History and built the Bethune Memorial Statue in Washington, D.C.
The current headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women is in Washington, D.C. NCNW now has 35 national and 250 community affiliations and more than four million women are associated with the NCNW.