Our History

National Coalition of 100 Black Women
Indianapolis Chapter, Inc.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NC100BW) was formed to bring together women from across the country to establish a leadership forum that would promote and make possible the professional development, personal growth, and economic well being of African-American women through a variety of activities that reflect the interest of the membership and the needs of the community at large.

The NCBW was founded nationally in New York in 1981. Currently the organization has thousands of members in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Indianapolis Attorney Fay Williams was the founding voice behind the local chapter. Early on she engaged in conversations with Jewell Jackson McCabe, the first National President, about starting a chapter in this city. In the fall of 1981 Jatrice Gaiter and Florence Woods traveled to New York to gather information needed to form a chapter in Indianapolis. Upon their return they shared information with Patricia Turner-Smith, Doris Parker and others who became very excited about the concept of creating a dynamic network of African-American women in this community. Two months later, 20+ women were invited to Fay Williams’s home to further discuss the concept. From the founder, to the conveners, to the steering committee, the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women was born. The first installation of officers was at the Columbia Club in the fall of 1982; with Jatrice Gaiter as the first Chapter President.

The NCBW is organized into five major program areas of interest: Economic Development, Education, Public Policy, Arts and Culture, and Leadership Development. Projects over the years have included role model and mentoring programs with Spellman University, the Teen Pregnancy Outreach Project, the Black Infant Mortality Task Force project, support of the United Negro College Fund, the minority intern program of the United Way of Central Indiana, the Center for Leadership Development, the Creative Writing Workshop at the Children’s Museum, support of Habitat for Humanity, the women’s shelter at Coburn Place, annual personal and professional development retreats, health care symposiums and wellness fairs, financial planning and economic development seminars, the 13-part community affairs television series Viewpoint, lecture and autograph series featuring nationally-recognized musicians, artists and writers, premier cinema events, a woman’s forum, a black women’s entrepreneurial expo, the annual Breakthrough Women recognition program, My Sister’s Keeper Financial Literacy Bootcamp, community workshops, political candidates forums, and more.

Throughout its history the local chapter has excelled in living the motto of “building partnerships through creative alliances” through project partnerships with various community and corporate entities. The two signature fundraising events for the organization over the years have been the Cabaret and Gourmet Gents. In 1992 and 1993 the organization partnered with the 100 Black Men in its first and second annual Indy 100 Roundball Tournaments, a fundraising project in support of mentoring young African-American males.   In 1995 the NCBW was part of Indiana history along with the Junior League of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Chapter of the Links in welcoming Nordstorm to Circle Centre Mall with a gala fundraiser event. More than $250,000 was raised—Nordstrom donated a portion of those proceeds to the three organizations in support of projects that “supported families and sustained communities.” The NCBW embarked upon a five-year fundraising partnership with the Indianapolis Museum of Art in support of their endeavor to acquire works by African-American artists for the Museum’s permanent collection. This project resulted in the acquisition of a significant piece by famed artist Jacob Lawrence, Allison Saar, as well as other noted works by African Americans.

In addition to support of the NCBW and community initiatives mentioned above, fund development over the years has underwritten the creation and support of the Coalition Academy for Girls. The Academy was initiated in 1994 by the NCBW as a mentoring project for high school girls aged 14-17. Over the past several years the Academy has expanded its programming reach with additional support from the Ronald McDonald House Charities and McDonalds Corporation, and has included partnerships with Hoosier Capital Girl Scouts, Arlington High School, the Urban Mission Branch of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan High School.

The following listing of many of our key supporters over the past 30 years evidences the NCBW’s commitment to “Building Partnerships Through Creative Alliances.”

American Cablevision/Time Warner Cable/HBO; Arlington High School; Arthur Anderson and Company; Butler University/Clowes Hall; Center for Leadership Development; Citizens Gas and Coke; City of Indianapolis/Vision Indianapolis Tomorrow/GIPC; Coburn Place; Columbia Club; First Quality Printing; Flanner House; Girls, Inc.; Habitat for Humanity; Hoosier Capital Girl Scouts; Indiana Black Expo/Circle City Classic; Indiana High School Athletic Association; Indiana repertory Theater; Indianapolis Links; Indianapolis Recorder; Indianapolis Star; Indianapolis Urban League; Indianapolis Water Company; Julian Center; Junior League of Indianapolis; Madame Walker Center; Marion County Department of Health; Master Scholars Productions; Mays Chemical Company; McDonalds Corporation; NAACP; National Council of Negro Women; NCAA; Network of Women in Business; Nordstrom; 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Inc.; Resorts Condominium International; Ronald McDonald House Charities; SBC/Ameritech/Indiana Bell; St. Peter Claver Center; The Associated Group; The Indianapolis Museum of Art; The West End; United Way of Central Indiana; USAir; WTHR/Channel 13; WTLC Radio Station; YMCA of Greater Indianapolis; YWCA; Youth as Resources, AARP, Huntington Bank; Indiana University Health.

We thank them and many more for their support.