Columbia, SC – A diverse group of Columbia’s socially conscious and activist women were inducted into the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., followed by a public luncheon of celebration on Saturday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. at the Columbia Marriott Hotel, 1200 Hampton Street. The group of women were chartered as the Columbia, South Carolina chapter of this 32-year old organization. The keynote speaker was Michele McNeill-Emery, the Coalition’s National President. Mistress of ceremony for the event was Columbia’s very own news anchor Darci Strickland of WLTX-TV. United States Congressman the Honorable James Clyburn, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin’s office and Councilman Norman Jackson, Richland County Council, were on hand to congratulate the group on its achievement.
According to Mary Miller McClellan, President of the group, “We are excited about the culmination of the efforts of 53 progressive women leaders whose mission is to advocate on behalf of women of color through local actions and strategic alliances that promote its agenda on leadership development and gender equity in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment.”
The Chartering coincided with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that was enacted as a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States. It outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities and women. It was designed to end the unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, in the workplace and by facilities that served the general public. McClellan states “We are preparing to revisit components of the 50 year old Civil Rights Act and develop strategies to address voter registration issues within our community.”
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. is a national organization that was founded in 1970 in New York City. More than 63 chapters have been chartered nationwide. Its membership includes a diverse group of women, who are physicians, attorneys, educators, journalists, accountants, Municipal Court Judges, private entrepreneurs, university administrators, corporate managers and vice presidents, artists, media personalities, labor leaders, public relations specialists, consultants, and elected officials. This cross-section of dynamic, progressive women is reflective of the membership in each chapter of the coalition.
From an article by Monica P. Butler, Chapter Reporter