Southern California Area NCNW was started when Meda Chamberlain was appointed Executive Director of the Southern California Area. She was followed by Hazel Isaiah Ransom and Otheta Glover who were appointed as conveners. The current President/Convener of Southern California is Dr. Helena Johnson. Lois Carson was on the national board for more than 10 years before term limits were added. She was initially a committee member and progressed to a National Vice President under Dorothy I. Height.
Southern California Area NCNW has offered several federally funded projects as well as partnerships with organizations such as United Way, The American Red Cross, as well as the City and County of Los Angeles. The most infamous project presented by SCA-NCNW was a series of Black Family Reunion that started in 1986 and is still held periodically throughout the area. A major accomplishment was the purchase of our headquarters at 3720 W. 54th St, Los Angeles.
Branches of SCA-NCNW are located in various areas throughout Southern California. There were almost twenty sections in Southern California at one time. Currently sections include Athens Westmont, Bethune, Compton, High Desert, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Mary McLeod Bethune, Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego, and View Park. In addition, there is the Los Angeles Life Member Guild and Moreno Valley Life Member Guild. We continue to provide programs to enrich families and communities. We continue to grow and hope to bring on at least two new sections this year.
The SCA-NCNW facility owned by the National Council of Negro Women is home to several community programs and is utilized as a Space Sharing resource so that there is room for many community collaboratives. We are an arm of an organization who continues to usher in new eras of social activism and progressive growth. Today we are grounded in our national foundation of critical concerns known as “Four for the Future”, STEAM, Financial Literacy and economic stability, Education, Health (mental and physical), as well as civic engagement and advocacy for sound public policy and social justice.
SCA-NCNW members acknowledge they are heirs to a prolific Black heritage that is lived every day. Despite having existed for over 400 years with constant cultural adversity as well as differences in opinion about our identity, we have forged a heritage that has grown and strengthened generation after generation. Still, many issues including racial, sexual, medical, and economic disparities still exist.
However, our nation has begun to recognize, confirm, and celebrate our heritage. SCA-NCNW must make sure this trend continues and that our friends, family, and fellow members share and learn about our local history. SCA-NCNW has been a part of Black history since the start as a regional arm of NCNW, Inc. in the early 1980’s and our first section in the 1940s
SCA-NCNW’s identity became significant by becoming active in the Civil Rights Movement and by offering programs like the Black Family Reunion where our leader, Dr. Dorothy Height, set out to prove that Black men were a part of the Black family and had not abandoned their families as was propagandized in all media genres. Currently we are again experiencing media propaganda about Covid-19 and again we must offer knowledge, information, and aid to our communities.
Throughout the year we want to recognize local achievers and contributors to enhance Black history and culture within the SCA-NCNW family. An SCA-NCNW 2021-2022 goal is for each of our sections to give the history of their sections., and want to hear all of their stories. Our members will learn about our organization, our chartered members, why and how each section evolved into their current status in their own words. We all look forward to their stories.
Area committees including Membership, Funding, IT/Communication, Health, Collegiate, Young Adult, STEAM have been created as a chance for all SCA-NCNW members to contribute to the organization. Let us know if you are interested in contributing to our organization’s future growth.
The REACH Membership Drive is in full swing. Let us recruit as many new and returning members as possible to the SCA-NCNW sections. The drive ends nationally in July 2021.
In conclusion, applying the outlined goals will increase the SCA-NCNW personal and organizational legacy. Fulfilling our goals by completing small, realistic tasks will build confidence, and illicit greater satisfaction and success while contributing to SCA-NCNW heritage.
Dr. Helena Johnson
Dr. Helena Johnson
"A woman is free if she lives by her own standards and creates her own destiny,
if she prizes her individuality and puts no boundaries on her hopes for tomorrow."
Mary McLeod Bethune
The National Council of Negro Women is a coalition comprised of 200 community-based sections in 32 state and 38 national organizational affiliates that work to enlighten and inspire more than 3,000,000 women and men.
Its mission is to lead, advocate for and empower women of African descent, their families, and communities. NCNW was founded by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator and activist.
For more than fifty years, the iconic Dr. Dorothy Height was president of NCNW. Today, under the leadership of Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, NCNW's programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as "Four for the Future".
NCNW promotes education with a concentrated focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math; encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic stability, educates women about good mental and physical health practices; promotes civic engagement and advocates for sound public policy consistent with traditional values.
It is our pledge to make a lasting contribution to all that is finest and best in America, to cherish and enrich her heritage of freedom and progress by working for the integration of all her people regardless of race, creed or national origin, into her spiritual, social, cultural, civic and economic life, and thus aid her to achieve the glorious destiny of a true and unfettered democracy.
"We have a powerful potential in our YOUTH, and we must have the COURAGE to CHANGE old IDEAS and PRACTICES so that we may direct their POWER toward GOOD ENDS."
-Mary McLeod Bethune
"Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible.
With it, nothing is impossible."
Mary McLeod Bethune
DR. HELENA JOHNSON
BRENDA ANDERSON, MBA
Second Vice President-Membership
Third Vice President- Young Adults
DR. DeVERA HEARD
REV. MELANIE MAYS
CARLIN SMITH STINE
"Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough."
Mary McLeod Bethune