2015 NCBW_RMAC Chartering Ceremony
Elegantly adorned in black attire and pearls, 40 women gathered on this past Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn, downtown Richmond, Virginia for the Chartering Ceremony Luncheon of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Richmond Metropolitan Area Chapter (NCBW RMAC), and to be recognized as the chapter’s founding members. National President, Michele McNeil-Emery of Maryland and along with her National Third Vice President, Beverly Johnson of Tennessee welcomed the sold-out room of 250 guests. Guests in attendance included representatives of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors, Henrico County School Board, Richmond Public School Board, State Representatives, Nadine Marsh-Carter (Daughter of Senator Henry Marsh), Danielle Fitz-Hugh President and CEO Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, and Richmond City Police Sergeant Carole Adams. The event did not go without its presence of celebrity as the Mistress of Ceremony for the day was Mrs. Daphne Maxwell Reid, known as “Aunt Viv” from the nationally syndicated show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air starring Will Smith.
We were equally as pleased to have the young ladies of Destiny’s Daughters serving as hostesses for the day. The Richmond Metropolitan Area Chapter did not stand alone in their celebration. Chapters from Prince George County, Maryland and Prince William County, Virginia came to pin the ladies in a private pinning ceremony held on Saturday morning. Much work led to the official chartering, two years to be exact. The weekend was the culmination of countless meetings, training and collaboration to ensure that the NCBW RMAC was prepared to accomplish its mission of advocating on behalf of women and girls of color in the Richmond Metropolitan Area who live in poverty, suffer with mental illness, and are victims of domestic violence.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. has a rich history. In 1981, the New York Coalition had over 500 members throughout New York City’s metropolitan area, far in excess of the symbolic “100” in its title. Its effective role, projects and its association with grass-roots community activities won notoriety in the local, state, and national news media. As the Coalition gained recognition, Black women from other parts of the country aspired to duplicate its mission and programs in their own geographic areas. It was decided to create a national organization, to expand beyond the boundaries of New York City, and, accordingly, to include the term “National” in the original title. They responded to the New York Coalition’s nationwide call to develop a leadership forum for professional Black women from the public and private sectors. That call resulted in a network of black women who joined together to meet the personal and professional needs of the contemporary black woman, the needs of her community, and her access to mainstream America.
The NCBW Richmond Metropolitan Area Chapter elected Dr. Delta R. Bowers to be the President of the Chartered Chapter. Dr. Bowers, a resident of Henrico County is a professor of business at a local university, entrepreneur, community activist, and a continuity of government expert whom has been given the task of assuring that the coalition accomplishes its mission. A governing board of elected officers: Sheryl Sweat-Gregory -First Vice President, Cathy Wysong – Second Vice President Fund Development and Joyce Powell- Third Vice President of Membership, along with other elected and appointed officers, and chapter members will work with a number of strategic partners in the public and private sectors to achieve its mission of advocating on behalf of women and girls who live in poverty, suffer with mental illness, and are victims of domestic violence. Additionally, the chapter will advocate on behalf of women and girls of color to promote leadership development, and gender equality in the areas of health, education, and economic empowerment. To quote Dr. Delta R. Bowers, President, “we have much work to do to advocate on behalf of women and girls of color in the Richmond Metropolitan Area to ensure a level economic playing field. As stated by the late John F. Kennedy, “To whom much is given, much is required”. We, the members of the chartered chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Richmond Metropolitan Area are ready for the challenge”.